at the Citizen Power Alliance 2010 Wind Conference
Farmers want line put underground
|ELLISBURG — Put the line underground.|
Farmers from the prime agricultural land in the town want the zoning law amended so any new electric transmission lines, such as the proposed line from the Galloo Island Wind Farm, must be below ground.
"If it were underground, we would not be as adamantly opposed to it," Edmund M. Davis said.
"It's easy digging," added Albert M. Gehrke. "If it's down four or five feet, nobody's going to be bothered by it."
They and other farmers believe that if a transmission line is above ground, it will interfere with their farming practices and production and be an eyesore.
The two, and three other farmers, own land along about three miles of the most recently proposed route for the Galloo Island line. They presented a zoning law amendment to the Town Council at its meeting Thursday night. Mr. Davis consulted with attorney Mark G. Gebo on the law. Mr. Gebo helped the town of Lyme draft its zoning law on wind power development. The Lyme law includes a similar provision.
The Ellisburg proposal would require transmission lines above 125 kilovolts to be placed underground. But the town would have power to grant variances.
"We've given the town board an out," Mr. Davis said. "They can make an exception."
He said he thought some people may not care if the line is run above ground. He also isn't sure if it will hold up as the Galloo Island project progresses.
"It may not be binding when we deal with the Public Service Commission," he told the Town Council. "But it gives us a better bargaining position."
The council agreed it should be checked by the town attorney.
"I'm not opposed to it, I just want someone else to read it," Councilman Kurt E. Gehrke said.
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