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Windmill ordinance passes in Tyrone Township

The Tyrone Township Supervisors passed a windmill ordinance Wednesday night by a two to one vote, according to Supervisor John Burket.
The ordinance covers the regulation of windmills by requiring non-assignable permits for construction, inspections, compliance with all applicable laws, maintenance, repair and replacement and removal and other guidelines.
The ordinance as outlined in the township’s legal notice last week also called for the posting of financial security for removal as well as setbacks to be established at least 3,000 feet from occupied structures. It also calls for setbacks in certain heritage, historical, wetland and important mammal areas. The ordinance also provides for remedies, penalties.
Burket voted against the ordinance while Donna Lane and Raymond Paul voted for it.
Burket said language regarding the owner/operator being required to provide a computer model documenting that none of the windmills or accessory structures would be visible from the grounds of the Fort Roberdeau Historic landmark was eliminated from the ordinance.
The township is also having its solicitor look into the legality of charging fees. Burket said “if the fee modification is viable” it will probably be added to the ordinance at a later date.
As previously reported, issues concerning wind energy have arisen in other nearby municipalities in the past several months. For example, in Tyrone Borough, officials entered into a lease in July with Gamesa Energy USA, LLC to allow the company to use a portion of borough land located in Snyder Township to conduct the study to see if it is feasible to construct a wind farm at the chosen location.
Also earlier this year, Gamesa opened a manufacturing facility for wind turbine generator blades in Cambria County. A wildlife conservation organization, Juniata Valley Audubon, has been active in expressing concerns regarding environmental issues it believes are associated with wind energy generation.