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Council puts wind energy on hold

The Lackawanna City Council, by a unanimous vote Tuesday, imposed a six-month moratorium on wind-energy projects.

"This will give us a chance to look at legislation that has been pursued and give us a chance to decide what to do," 2nd Ward Council Member Geoffrey M. Szymanski said.

City Attorney Arc J. Petricca said that the moratorium also would give officials time to find out what Steel Winds is planning for the wind farm project it is building on the old Bethlehem Steel site. Petricca added that it would have no effect on the eight 410-foot-tall wind turbines currently under construction. "We want to regulate these things," Petricca said. "We don't want to have 50 windmills if the site can't support 50 windmills."

In another unanimous vote, the Council declared its opposition to consolidating Erie County Sewer District 6, which serves all of Lackawanna, with other sewer districts or municipalities. The state Department of State recently issued grants to study possible sewer district mergers throughout the county.

The Council also authorized agreements that would give the green light to three commercial projects along Hamburg Turnpike (Route 5).

The agreements would transfer 2.2 acres of land from MD&S Resources Group to the city. The city then would sell the property to Premium Coffee Roasters and Pelicano's Meat & Produce Market.

In return, MD&S would receive 3.1 acres farther east of the highway, where it would build an indoor rifle and pistol range. Meanwhile, there are plans to build a Best Western Hotel on the site, as well.

"This is exactly what we've been fighting for," said 1st Ward Council Member Andrea Haxton. "We knew the First Ward would make a rebound some day."

In other business, the Council:

* Approved sale of the former J.J. Muggs restaurant at 2711 South Park Ave.

* Appointed Denise Kapa as commissioner of deeds.

* Agreed to sponsor Winter Fest 2007 from 1 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 10 at the Martin Road Senior Center.

e-mail: danderson@buffnews.com

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