Pittsford Township approves wind energy proposal

August 10, 2011 —

In a 5-0 vote Monday night, Pittsford Township approved the adoption of a new “Wind Energy Facility Ordinance.” The ordinance is the result of months of work by the Township Planning Commission.

“I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from the community,” said Cinda Walton, Pittsford Township Clerk. The board applauded all the hard work of the Planning Commission, who had invested a lot of time and energy into the ordinance to insure that it was both welcoming to wind power and responsible in its implication.

Invenergy, a renewable energy company based out of Chicago that is responsible for creating dozens of solar, wind and natural gas power projects, has been planning on investing in Pittsford township and is currently in the process of completing environmental impact and wind studies for the area, a process which usually takes at least three years.

At a minimum, the project wouldn’t begin construction until the summer of 2014, and, depending on the migratory patterns of the Indiana bats, might have to curtail their operations during the months of bat migration. “Hillsdale County is at the northern edge of the Indiana bat species,” said Energy Development Associate Michael Kaplan, who helped organize the wind farms located in Gratiot County. “Once that is complete, we can move forward on plans to build.”

Once construction begins, it will be 12-14 months until the wind turbines are operational.

The project does not work under tax subsidies. The biggest subsidy available for wind energy at the moment is a tax credit based on how much energy is created, and the company isn’t looking for any tax abatements.

In other news, the Pittsford Township board also discussed:

• The reduction of the size of the Planning Commission to 5 people with 1 alternate. The measure passed with all in favor.

• The United States Postal Service District Manager notified Pittsford Township that beginning August 13, all rural carriers will begin working out of the Hudson office. However, Cinda Walton said that the move has been put on the back burner for now, and may or may not happen in the future. All retail services at the Pittsford Post Office will stay as they are now and will not be affected, no matter what happens, so most postal customers may not notice the difference. There will be some staffing changes to meet contracts.

• Library circulation numbers are up, probably due to the increased usage by young adults who are currently not in school. Additionally, the Library donated the leftover foodstuffs (pancake mix, etc) from last year’s fundraising dinner to the Salvation Army and Trinity Lutheran Church’s King’s Cupboard Food Pantry, and received a letter back from the King’s Cupboard Pantry stating that because of donations, the Food Pantry had been able to feed over 23,000 people.

• Reduce planning commission to 5 people with 1 alternate. Passed, all in favor.

• Getting an agreement in writing about the coverage of the Hudson Ambulance Service in Pittsford Township. Last month, the board verbally agreed that the Hudson Ambulance Service would cover the area, and from then until January 2012 residents may be charged for ambulance calls that are not covered by insurance until the ambulance taxes are redirected to the Hudson service. However, the only agreement is in the meeting minutes, and the board is concerned that they don’t have a contract in writing.