Turbine firm to pay county for future road damage

More county roads in the town of Villenova are expected to be damaged with the ongoing construction of the Ball Hill Wind project.

Last summer Chautauqua County approved a permit fee for the county to be paid $722,100 for expected road damage for the construction of 22 wind turbines in the town of Villenova and three in the town of Hanover.

During last week’s county legislature’s Audit and Control Committee meeting, Drew Rogers, Chautauqua County Deputy Director for engineering in the Department of Public Facilities said they need to expand that permit. Rogers said they’re now expecting an additional $467,714 worth of damage to be done to the county roads.

“DPF previously issued permits for overweight and over-dimensional hauling and right away improvements on specified county roads associated with this construction,” Rogers said. “Now, based on where the wind mill tower components are actually being shipped from, the developer requested to use additional roads for that component hauling.”

Northland Power previously had established fees set with the county. Rogers said using those fees, they calculated the new damage expected. “The weight of deliveries really decreases the lifespan of the roads and make the roads susceptible to damage so this permit fee is utilized to repair the roads, once the construction is completed,” he said.

Former DPF Director Brad Bentley said last year that they had a similar agreement with the construction of another wind farm. That wind farm caused about $880,000 of road damage and the county was paid $900,000.

The agreement with Northland Power still needs the approval of the full county legislature Wednesday.


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