Spafford passes windwill law

The town's law states that "the level of noise produced during wind turbine operation shall not exceed 40 dbA, measured at the boundaries of all the closest parcels that are owned by non-site owners."

Councilman Ken Lieberman said the town performed a study in which board members rented a meter and traveled throughout the area measuring the level of noise coming from wind turbines from areas including the Town of Clay.

"We didn't register anything above a background noise," Lieberman said.

Despite Lieberman's testing for noise, Moran said he disagreed with having windmills in the community.

"I don't think they're good for the community. Any type of motorized device is going to break down," Moran said. "I think they're going to change the community tremendously."

One resident who spoke up regarding the term parcel said the term lacked a definition, leaving the term up to interpretation. While the law states that parcels of land will be limited to one windmill, some in attendance questioned subdividing land into several parcels to allow more that one windmill for personal use.

The board resolved to change the verbage of the law to state that a "subdivision that creates more than one parcel cannot be used for a windmill on each parcel as long as it is owned by the same person." According to Stevens, since the change in the law was slight, there is no need to send it back to the county for approval.

Many residents also spoke to the cost of energy and fuel. For many people, having a windmill to generate power for their homes would help reduce the cost of heating and energy bills.

Resident Steve White said that when he arrived at the public hearing, he though many people were against windmills, but that he may have been wrong.

"It's time to decide if you want to look at windmills ... or do you want to look at huge utility bills and portraits of soldiers getting killed," he said.

The town board filed a negative declaration for a state environmental quality review with the resolution to take effect immediately. They then passed the local windmill law and the crowd gave them a round of applause.

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