Does Fulton support wind?


By David Avitabile

A wind power farm in the Town of Fulton garnered a lot of support in a survey answered by more than 260 property owners.
A county assessor and a tax increase to improve roads received little support, survey results showed.
The one-page survey was sent out in March to about 900 property owners and about a third, or just under 300, came back, said Supervisor Phil Skowfoe.
The results of the survey will be discussed at future board meetings, the Supervisor said, and will help board members make decisions.
At the June 9 meeting at 7:30pm, questions about a county-wide assessor, revaluation and an installment plan for county taxes will be discussed.
The question on wind farm is on the agenda for July and the land use results may be discussed in August or sometime later in the year, Mr. Skowfoe said.
Most respondents said they need more information about land use.
Mr. Skowfoe was pleased with the returns but was not surprised at any of the results in the survey.
He said he spoke to many people while campaigning last fall but that this was the best way to get opinions from the most property owners.
Some people thanked officials for sending out the survey and others said they were impressed that it was sent out.
“This was the only fair way,” Mr. Skowfoe said.
The surveys were sent out with self-addressed stamped envelopes, which helped in the return rate.
“I felt these issues were important enough to supply them with a self-addressed stamped envelope,” Mr. Skowfoe said.
“I felt we afforded them every opportunity.”
The Supervisor said he expects land use, as well as wind power, to be “hot topics.”
The survey questions were under four major categories.
They were: roads; taxes and assessment; wind energy and land use; and garbage collection, white goods and tire collection.
The town has 52.79 miles of town roads and the highway department plows 19.5 miles of county roads. About 80 percent of town taxes go to the highway portion of the budget.
Of those who responded to the survey, 137 live on town roads, 37 live on state roads and 71 live on county roads.
Of those who responded, 109 classified the maintenance of their road as good while 49 said excellent, 65 said fair and 26 said poor.
An overwhelming majority, 196 to 44, were against an increase in taxes exclusively for the improvement of roads.
Most respondents did not favor a county-wide assessor.
Only 41 respondents said they favored a county-wide assessor over a town-wide one and 129 were opposed while 92 said they needed more information.
There was little support for the town doing a revaluation at a cost of about $50,000 with only 25 in favor and 128 against while 106 more people needed more information.
More people were in favor of having an optional installment plan (with a small fee) to pay for town and county taxes by a count of 130 yes to 96 no with 32 seeking more information.
A wind power farm in the town received strong support.
Of those who responded, 121 said they favor a wind power farm while 60 were against and 83 needed more information.
Most respondents felt they needed more information on whether the taxes on the farm should be under the normal assessment or in the form of a payment in lieu of taxes.
Of those who responded, 38 were in favor of a PILOT, 56 were against and 163 needed more information.
Respondents also said they needed more information on an expanded land use plan before making a decision.
Support was almost split on an expanded land use plan with 43 in favor and 47 against while 169 needed more information.
Garbage, recyclable, white goods, and tire collection received wide support in the survey.
The garbage and recyclables collection in the town is on every other Saturday from 7am to noon and more respondents, 176 to 53 said they have adequate time to dispose of their garbage. Fourteen said they needed more information.
The town schedules four white good days and two tire collection days during the summer.
Most of the respondents, 208 to 32, felt that was an adequate schedule while 11 said they needed more information.