HENDERSON A long-disputed private wind turbine project will be allowed in the town as the result of discussions between town officials and representatives from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets.
The 10-kilowatt wind turbine generator, to be located at 11375 Whitney Road, had been considered by the farms owners as an allowed addition for a farm under the state Constitution that was not subject to town rules. The town passed a comprehensive wind turbine ban in 2010.
Construction has been delayed for several months as the towns Zoning Board of Appeals argued that a long-form environmental assessment would have to be filed. The property is owned by Harvey and Sue Grimshaw, and is located in Agricultural District 3.
Joseph B. Morrissey, an Ag and Markets spokesman, said the department had worked with the town during the past month to begin the process of amending local zoning rules to match state agriculture law. He added the town was very cooperative in working with the department.
Previous letters from the department to the town had expressed concerns about the towns prohibition of noncommercial wind turbines in certified agricultural districts.
Sherret E. Chase, president of Chase Construction Management Inc. and contractor for the project, said he was happy for the Grimshaws and for other farmers in the town.
Im glad the town finally opened their ears and listened to reason, he said.
Gerald Tackley, the ZBAs chairman, said he felt the board was caught between a rock and a hard place as it balanced upholding the towns law on the books and acting in accordance with the state rules.
That was the crux of the whole thing, Mr. Tackley said. We wanted to make sure we werent violating that and we were doing things the right way.
Mr. Tackley said he had originally requested the filing of a long-form environmental assessment on the advice of town Attorney David A. Renzi. However, subsequent discussions between Ag & Markets, Mr. Renzi and the board led to the decision to let the project proceed with the filing with a short-form assessment, which was included by Mr. Chase in the original filing.
Mr. Renzi declined to comment on the matter Monday.
Mr. Chase, the Grimshaws and board officials met Wednesday to complete the paperwork again, formally ending the dispute.
Its over and done with. Were into a new day, Mr. Tackley said. He called the Grimshaws good upstanding citizens and some of the nicest people to meet.
Mr. Chase said he hoped to have the 150-foot-tall turbine up before the end of the year, in order to satisfy requirements of state and federal grant providers.
The Grimshaws will receive about $36,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and $17,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to complete the project, which will cost about $88,000.
The dispute over the turbine project has also prompted the formation of a special wind turbine committee, which has developed recommendations for the Town Council to change the towns wind turbine rules.
Torre J. Parker-Lane, the committees chairwoman and a member of the Town Council, said the council will review the committees recommendations at a future meeting.