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B'ville considers wind energy

Creating alternative and cost effective energy sources is on everyone's minds these days.

Our local municipalities are no different.

Van Buren's planning and zoning committee recently drafted code changes and additions to include wind power regulations addressing windmills.

"The town is trying to encourage people to find and use alternative energy sources that are safe," said Howard Tupper, a Van Buren town councilor.

Tupper said the areas of Whiskey Hollow, Sorrell Hill, Kingdom and Perry Road are some of the places where the wind is westerly and would be conducive to using wind power. He added construction costs could be supplemented by NY State grants, which apply to wind and other alternative power sources, such as solar power. NY State has grants available for up to 50 percent of the cost for alternative fuels.

Van Buren officials are waiting to hear if NY State will defer the codes to the Environmental Protection Agency. If the state does not do so, each municipality will be responsible for writing its own codes, which Van Buren has taken the step to begin this process.

The town is not looking at wind farms such as those in the North Country or Madison County, Tupper said. Instead, Van Buren is hoping to pave the way for people to save money as they seek alternative power sources. Tupper encourages anyone interested in more information to attend the public hearing at the July 1 board meeting held at Van Buren Town Hall on the corner of Van Buren and Crego roads.

Proposed to ensure the safety of the public, the code revisions that will be discussed at the meeting include keeping sound pressure below 60 decibels, preventing windmill emissions such as odors, dust, smoke or noxious gases, and preventing a fire hazard or harmful wastes. The proposed codes also address the issue of the windmill creating a glare that would distract drivers, as well as safety standards including space allotments to prevent a windmill from falling on any building used by the property owner or any neighbor's property.

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