R'ville adopts turbine setbacks


By Jim Poole

ichmondville Town Board members approved a long-awaited setback law for wind turbines Thursday night.
Passed in a 3-2 vote, the law requires turbines to be at least 1,500 feet from roads and property lines.
A special committee drafted the recommendation in April, but the town board didn’t act until Thursday.
Then, Councilman Larry Zaba brought it up without fanfare.
In discussion, Councilman Dennis Handy said he’d like to see shorter setback distances, 1,000 and 800 feet.
But Councilmen Dick Lape and Roy Bilby, who was the town board’s representative on the setback committee, supported Mr. Zaba.
“I support wind power, but it needs to be properly sited,” Mr. Bilby said.
“The best place [for wind turbines] is as far away from residences as you can get. It’s got to be 1,500 feet.”
Mr. Zaba, Mr. Bilby and Mr. Lape voted for the law, while Mr. Handy and Supervisor John Barlow, who also favored a shorter distance, voted against.
The setback law had been supported by Schoharie Valley Watch, a group that’s been following the issue Reunion Power erected a test wind tower on the David Huse farm.
In a release on Friday, SVW Co-Director Bob Nied applauded the town board’s approval.
The three councilmen “seemed to signal a very positive shift in the course of the town board that includes an increased willingness to listen to, and address, the concerns of residents,” Mr. Nied wrote.