Wind farm developers are offering major cash to Western New York towns willing to deal. However, even with financial incentives, there are tradeoffs which raise the question whether wind turbines benefit or burden a community.
Right now, traffic jams aren’t a problem in Cohocton, Steuben County. Jobs at the Polly-O dairy plant and the old buckwheat flour mill are long gone.
However, now that a wind developer wants to move in, there are rumblings. Some neighbors view the wind farm proposal as an economic remedy.
Landowner Ron Moody said, “What kind of income are you going to get for your school, your town, and your county if you don’t put something in here?”
Others want to protect the serenity that drew them here.
Property Owner Dr. William Morehouse said, “I’m going to have three of these, if this goes through, within 1,500 feet of my cabin, my Shangri-la.”
In an example mailed out to Cohocton property owners, the wind developer says it could potentially invest more than $600,000 a year in the community. Plus, they would pay people who allow the wind turbines on their land.
A study www.savewesternny.org states that wind farm developers see a 26-percent return on their investments the first year, while a wind industry spokeswoman said it’s more like 7.5 to 10 percent.
Perry Town Supervisor Jim Brick, said, “It would look like pretty near half a million for the town, per year. Is that enough? We don’t know yet for sure.”
Some homeowners are worried their property values will plummet if wind turbines are built near their homes.
Kathy Kriz (Cohocton, N.Y./Perry, N.Y.)
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