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Updated Solar Law Starts Off In Columbia

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Six months after doing a thorough review of the town’s Solar Law, a Town of Columbia committee has passed on their work for eventual approval.

The Solar Working Committee, led by Councilman H. Ed Reed, provided an updated list of regulations to the law passed about four years ago.

Reed told the Columbia Town Board at their meeting earlier this month that changes in commercial solar probably require an update every two years.

Columbia Town Supervisor Nathan Seamon thanked Reed and the residents for their time and diligence.

The recommendations are being reviewed by an attorney.

For the Board to adopt the new regulations the process requires introducing the proposal, which was done this month.

After Board review a public hearing will take place for public input.

The Town’s Planning Board will also begin a review of the updates.

Columbia issued a moratorium on commercial solar development from last April till this month.

Any development that happens after the moratorium would fall under the new laws.

The proposed law takes into account the history of solar interest and development in Columbia.

This includes the proposed 2,200-acre large-scale solar farm and battery storage project.

The law outlines the town’s environmental factors and rural character. The law also discusses concerns with solar energy’s impact.

No timetable was set for adoption but Seamon said it was a priority for the Town.

Board members approved having Dog Control Officer Justin Davis follow the state law to protect deer from being chased by dogs.

The law allows him to seize the dogs and destroy them if deemed necessary.

Highway Superintendent Mark Buddle said the town’s Trash Day is Saturday, May 4.

He suggested residents take items such as tires and appliances to the Herkimer County Waste Authority rather than have the town pick them up.

The Waste Authority will have a shredder on site Saturday, April 27 for county residents to use for free.

Buddle said the new loader is expected to arrive by the end of the month. Road cleanup has started and sweeping is underway.

Buddle said patching will be done on some roads.

A state law prohibiting major work on roads where repairs used CHiPs funding for 10 years limits what the town can do, he said. ...


The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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