Schenectady County

Temporary tower gets town approval

Town planning officials approved a wind-energy company’s plans for a meteorological testing tower in

Town planning officials approved a wind-energy company’s plans for a meteorological testing tower in Pattersonville on Tuesday, but stressed that the structure will not be permanent.

Planning commission members approved a 197-foot tower near an existing cellular tower off Crawford Road. The developer, the Vermont-based Reunion Power, will be permitted to test at the 1,300-foot elevations for up to three years, after which time they will be required to remove the structure.

“It’s a temporary tower,” Chairman Lawrence DiLallo said. The commission approval is the final needed for the special use permit.

The developers were also asked to place reflectors on any support cables for the tower, which will be 8 inches in diameter. DiLallo said pieces of the tower will be carried onto the site, meaning the structure will not require a road, and it is shorter than 200 feet, so the company won’t need to illuminate it for air safety.

Only one resident living near the proposed testing site voiced concerns over the idea of wind power developments in high-elevation areas of the town. DiLallo said the tower is only for testing purposes and does not necessarily mean the company will try to develop a project.

Meanwhile, town officials from both Rotterdam and Princetown have discussed drawing up a wind ordinance. Rotterdam planner Peter Comenzo said the towns share similar high elevation areas, meaning they both have potential for future wind power projects.

“The towns are going to work cooperatively on it,” he said following the meeting. “Both towns want to be proactive on this.”


In other business, commission members expressed deep skepticism about sketch plans for a portable hot-mix asphalt facility on a 5-acre property off Burdeck Street.

Empire Paving presented plans for the mixing unit near a 4,800-square-foot office building they were approved to build in 2006.

But DiLallo said the asphalt mixer could cause problems for the nearby Mastroianni Brothers’ Bakery, as well as a 240-unit condominium complex proposed for Mariaville Road. He said the projected noise, smell and traffic from the facility will likely prevent the project from advancing.

“It’s not an attractive project at all,” he said. “There are a lot of impacts.”

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