Poland Town Board Hears Concerns Over Wind Turbines

POLAND — A concerned citizen began a recent town of Poland board meeting with a plea for board members to be vigilant should a wind turbine company come calling.

During the first privilege of the floor, Karen Engstrom asked the board to be proactive on the issue of wind turbines. She gave a thorough presentation on the problems turbines have caused in other areas. Written information she presented will be made available to interested members of the public.

Engstrom said that her group of concerned citizens is reaching out to other communities so that they can better understand the far-reaching consequences of other wind turbine projects. They recommend that any town considering such projects should be required to notify all of the town’s residents in writing that such a project is being contemplated. Any possible conflicts of interest should also be addressed.

Town officials said that the local area had been deemed not to have enough wind for a turbine project. Engstrom said she believes, however, that energy companies are dropping wind speed requirements and more incentives are being given to promote turbines, so the matter could be revisited.

Following an executive session for personnel matters, the board discussed old business. Larry Mee noted that the main entrance door for the town hall is still having trouble with its closer spring. At times, the wind can open the door without human assistance. Board members decided to have a local company come in and inspect the issue.

Town Supervisor Kelly Snow told members that the personnel handbook had been completed. Copies were given to the board so they can look it over.

Under new business, a resolution was passed to adopt a local law for changing the Grievance Day from the fourth Tuesday of May to the first Tuesday of June. The board voted unanimously to approve the new date.

County Legislator John Davis gave an update on the legislature activities. He noted that County Historian Michelle Henry had spoken at a recent session, and noted that the first woman justice of the peace in New York state was Gertrude Williams of the town of Poland; museum day in the county is planned for Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will include free admission and special programs in museums around the county.

Assessor Heather Young-Deyell told the board that nearly all exemptions had been renewed. Assessment changes made will be sent in letters mailed to residents in April. Any questions about these changes can be asked by contacting her prior to the grievance day. She has started the paperwork for a cyclical assessment program. Copies of the plan and background for application were given to the board. Supervisor Snow suggested that Southern Tier West be contacted to have them note on the town’s website that the grievance day has been changed.

Highway Superintendent Larry Mee noted that many trees were downed or damaged from recent storms. Workers got them cut up and out of the way for plowing.

Zoning Officer George Gustafson said that there were several variances coming up before the zoning board, and they hoped to have their next meeting in April. It will be posted in the legal notices in the paper when a date is finalized. Code Officer Alan Gustafson said he was finishing up work on permits. A couple demolition permits had been sought. There is still no word on when or if a new cell tower will be built on the Grubb Hill Road site that was approved last year.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in the town hall.


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