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Lowville officials may tweak digester, solar laws before adoption

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LOWVILLE — Lowville town councilmen plan to digest a few comments before adopting laws regulating manure digesters and solar energy systems.

“We’ll clear these up,” said town Supervisor Randall A. Schell, suggesting formal adoption could take place at the board’s June 20 meeting after minor changes are made.

Discussion at Thursday morning’s public hearing on the proposed digester law centered on regulations for small, on-farm digesters, with no comments on the town’s plan to ban commercial ones.

While the draft law requires a 300-foot setback from an on-farm digester to a residence other than that of the property owner, past supervisor and retired dairy farmer Arleigh D. Rice suggested that homes owned by anyone with an interest in the farm should also not be subject to the setback requirement.

And, as for the solar proposal, a letter from local solar vendor Mickey Dietrich suggested that a requirement that arrays be connected to homes by underground cable might keep town residents from installing new portable systems that plug into electrical systems much like an emergency generator.

Councilmen directed town attorney Raymond A. Meier to review both matters and make any necessary changes to the proposed laws.

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