Township puts Two-year moratorium on turbines; issue will go to referendum

March 4, 2009 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

The Township of Madawaska Valley Council has slapped a moratorium on the approval of any wind turbine projects until next year’s municipal elections, at which time voters will have a chance to vote on the wind farm issue in a referendum question attached to their ballots.
The move came after an at-times heated debate on the issue at Monday night’s regular council meeting.
It is not clear just how much direct impact council’s measure will have – Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has warned that he will not let local opposition stand in the way of so-called Green Energy projects, and has said that the province will take responsibility for the approval of such proposals – most notably industrial wind turbine farms – away from municipalities. Indeed, some council members acknowledged that they expect the provincial government will overrule them. Nonetheless, council’s move will likely diffuse much of the ongoing public pressure on council over the wind turbine controversy.
At the moment, the sole project proposed for the Township of Madawaska Valley is for the construction of six of the mammoth turbines on the hills north of the Village of Wilno. But
several other projects, many of them much larger, are planned for the Township of South Algonquin to the west, and in communities to the east and southeast of Madawaska Valley as well.
Up until Monday night, Madawaska Valley Council’s stand had been that, while it had listened to many submissions from opponents of the industrial wind project, it had not yet heard from the wind power company. Mayor John Hildebrandt had stated several times that council wanted to hear the other side of the story before taking a position. This was criticized by some opponents, who wanted council to come out solidly against turbines.
The resolution to put the matter on hold pending a referendum in 2010 was tabled by Councillor Sylvie Yantha, who in doing so was resurrecting a similar motion that he had initially proposed in November. Last night’s version was immediately seconded by Councillor Shelley Maika and the other councillors supported it.
“I think we should give the people a choice as to what they want,” Yantha said in making his motion. “I think that … the voters are waiting for answers. Let’s let the voters decide.”
Monday night’s meeting began with two delegations on the wind issue, which has been in the public eye since a firm named SkyPower first proposed to build six turbines near Wilno early in 2008.
Carl Bromwich of Wilno said he was appearing to ask that a public meeting be convened on the issue “to smooth over some of the rough edges” surrounding the dispute. He praised Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski for “leading our fight in the Legislature” against the Liberal government’s Green Energy Act bill, saying he was “doing a hell of a good job.” But it is time that MV council spoke out on the matter, too, Bromwich said.
He urged council to “use the powers you have now to make a statement” against the Green Energy Act and wind turbines.
“Your power is our power and if we lose it, we’re going to be answering to (Energy and Infrastructure Minister) George Smitherman and Dalton McGuinty for the rest of our lives.”
Later, Lou Eyamie of SOS, or Save Our Skyline, the lead organization fighting against the Wilno wind farm proposal, also urged council to take a stand on the wind farm proposal.
“I firmly believe that if you people don’t make your position known … you’re going to be too late,” Eyamie said.
Municipal politicians in the townships of South Algonquin, where several turbines are planned for near the eastern border of Algonquin Provincial Park, and in Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards, where no wind projects are currently proposed, have passed moratoriums on any approvals of wind turbines. Those measures, combined with several others approved by municipalities across the province, were followed by the provincial government’s plan to take over the power to set guidelines and approve projects under its Green Energy Act, which is now before the Legislature.
Denise Brotton of Wilno also addressed council. She said she was glad to see that council has taken the initiative “to do something” about the wind farm controversy, but was skeptical of the McGuinty government’s promises that municipalities will receive money from the wind turbines built in their communities.
“I have no faith that they will contribute anything to us,” she said.
She also cited a news release by MPP John Yakabuski that questions Liberal promises that electricity prices will not rise sharply under the Green Energy Act. Smitherman had pegged the increase at one per cent.
In the Feb. 24 release, Yakabuski noted that Smitherman himself put the cost of the bill at $5 billion. Yakabuski suggested that, with 4.2 million electricity consumers in Ontario footing that bill, this would mean each consumer would face an average increase of $1,200 – a 30 per cent increase over three years.
By Douglas Gloin
Barry’s Bay This Week
4 March 2009

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Carmen Krogh to appear at Council Meetings Township of Lyndoch, Brudenell and Raglan pass motion for further study

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


RSS National Wind Watch

  • Wind farms want permission to kill more bats — A lot more #HI August 14, 2018
    Wind turbines are proving to be more of a menace than expected to opeapea – endangered Hawaiian hoary bats, the islands’ only native land mammal. As a result, three wind energy farms are requesting increases in the amount of bats they are allowed to “take.” “Take,” according to the Endangered Species Act, includes harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shoot […]
    National Wind Watch
  • Tyrone council hears wind farm opposition #PA August 14, 2018
    TYRONE – In July, when a representative of Algonquin Power Co. visited Borough Council to outline plans for doubling the size of the 50-megawatt Sandy Ridge Wind Farm on Ice Mountain above the borough, no opposition appeared. On Monday, it showed up in the form of concerns expressed by two area residents, who told council members of their fears for forest fr […]
    National Wind Watch
  • County residents raise concerns over wind ordinance at Board meeting #IL August 14, 2018
    More than a dozen communities members showed up to voice their concerns regarding a wind ordinance during this morning’s Morgan County Commissioners meeting. The majority of those in attendance at today’s meeting were members of the group, “The Adhoc Citizens Committee for Property Rights,” which were represented mainly Morgan County resident Mike Woodyard. […]
    National Wind Watch
  • Ball Hill vote put on hold #NY August 14, 2018
    Anti-windmill signs littered the yard by the front door of the Hanover Town Hall Monday evening, but the vote on the Ball Hill Wind Energy Project was pushed back due to the absence of Councilperson Bernard Feldmann. “We felt we should do the voting with a full board of five versus four members,” Town Supervisor Todd Johnson said. A supermajority vote is nee […]
    National Wind Watch
  • Atlantic Wind attorney implies expert in Penn Forest is biased #PA August 14, 2018
    PENN FOREST TWP., Pa. – The legal team representing Atlantic Wind LLC, a wind-focused subsidiary of Avangrid Renewables looking to place 28 wind turbines in Penn Forest Township, cross-examined a local civil engineer Monday night in an attempt to reveal any biases held and discredit his status as an expert in the hearing. Phil Malitsch, a professional engine […]
    National Wind Watch
  • Board looking into wind ordinance #IL August 14, 2018
    The Morgan County Board of County Commissioners is discussing an ordinance that could impact a proposed wind farm near Waverly and Franklin. The board is looking at proposed changes to setbacks and other limitations on the placement of wind turbines near homes after several residents raised concerns about a wind farm’s potential effects on its neighbors. Win […]
    National Wind Watch
  • Norfolk council to appeal High Court ruling over wind turbines, despite potential cost #ENG August 14, 2018
    A Norfolk council will appeal a decision not to hold a public inquiry into controversial plans for two wind turbines. Last week it was announced that the High Court had overturned an appeal by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) into the Bodham and Selbrigg turbines. The court ruled that the next stage of the planning process would involve written represen […]
    National Wind Watch
  • National Defense paid twice for Oaxaca wind farm #MEX August 14, 2018
    The Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) was forced to pay twice for the construction of a wind farm on an air force base in Oaxaca after a contractor failed to deliver the project, financial records show. The department contracted with Grupo Tradeco to build the project, whose purpose was to make the Ixtepec base in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region ene […]
    National Wind Watch
  • Taylor warns of possible repercussions #IN August 14, 2018
    Towns adopting ordinances with restrictions on wind farm development are making a mistake, said county attorney Dan Taylor. Several Montgomery County towns have either adopted or are considering adopting such ordinances that Taylor says wouldn’t stand if challenged in court. “I think the courts in Indiana have made clear that you can’t regulate land use for […]
    National Wind Watch
  • Are wind turbines safe, quiet? #IL August 14, 2018
    While Chicago resident Cary Shepard states that it’s time for us in DeKalb County to embrace wind energy, the disadvantages will only be experienced by those of us living here. The statement that claims the debate is settled on safety and noise issues is patently false. One need only to have attended a single meeting of the DeKalb County Planning and Zoning […]
    National Wind Watch

%d bloggers like this: