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Council votes for more consultation on wind energy project

Community members should have another chance to share their thoughtswith city staffers and councillors before energy efficient turbinesstart blowing in the wind.

Community members should have another chance to share their thoughts with city staffers and councillors before energy efficient turbines start blowing in the wind.

The majority of Halifax Regional Council agreed during its committee-of-the-whole meeting Tuesday to hold more public consultation on the municipality’s wind energy project, which includes proposed policy on suitable sites for turbines of varying sizes.

“There (are) still some concerns of how close, how noisy,” Deputy Mayor David Hendsbee, who also represents Preston-Lawrencetown-Chezzetcook, told Metro following the session at City Hall. “I think that it would be good to publicly get a clearing in the air on that issue.”

But not all elected officials seem to think that more talk is in the best interest of the wind turbine initiative, which kicked off in November 2006.

“We’re three full years into the process,” pointed out Coun. Bill Karsten of Portland-East Woodlawn. “The process (has already) included consultation with stakeholders and the public.”

Coun. Jennifer Watts of Connaught-Quinpool said “it’s exciting to see” the green friendly project moving forward, but added she too agrees with more community consultation.

As debate wound down, Coun. Jim Smith of Albro Lake-Harbourview said “it’s pretty clear that we’re not clear” when it comes to wind turbines.

According to the proposed policy, large and small scale turbines would be allowed in rural areas, subject to certain conditions. But urban areas would be restricted to small scale turbines, and only in business parks, on college campuses and in some industrial locations.

 
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