Several residents living in areas where windmill projects are in ther offing spoke out against the projects during last Wednesday’s meeting of the county legislature.
Middleville resident Don Denapole, a member of the Fairfield Concerned Citizens group which formed in opposition to Atlantic Renewable Energy’s proposed wind farm for the towns of Fairfield and Norway, passed out a memo to legislators outlining the group’s reasons for opposing the project. The memo has been mailed out to area residents as well, said Denapole.
Both Denapole and Fairfield resident Andy McEvoy also urged the county to get its fair share of a per megawatt payment from Atlantic Renewable for a payment in lieu of taxes agreement.
The county recently countered Atlantic Renewable’s offer of $7,500 per megawatt, an 81 percent tax exemption, with an offer of $12,000 per megawatt.
Both McEvoy and Denapole pointed to the fact that a consultant hired by the county arrived at a $40,000 per megawatt figure as the annual taxes that the companies would be able to afford to pay.
“These companies can afford a lot more than you’re asking,” said Denapole.
McEvoy also said the county should get involved in how far the turbines will be required to set back from nearby homes. Around 120 homes are located within 3,000 feet of the turbines that are part of the proposed project in Fairfield-Norway.
“The companies are dictating to the towns,” said McEvoy.
Fairfield resident Lisa Sementilli, though, has a far more personal interest in seeing the Fairfield project stopped. Sementilli said she has a young daughter with a hearing disorder that affects her ability to learn, adding that the decibel level produced by the wind towers would have an adverse effect on her daughter.
An emotional Sementilli said she has approached the Fairfield town board several times in an effort to have her concerns addressed, all to no avail. Unveiling a project map and pointing out her home in relation to the proposed location of the towers, she worries that her family may have to move if the project goes forward.
“We have no answers for anything. When are our medical questions going to be answered?” said Sementilli.
Also Wednesday, Stark area residents spoke out against Community Energy’s proposal for a 68-wind turbine project in the Jordanville area.
Stark resident Steve Reichenbach said the project would have a “significant negative impact” on property values in the area.
“We are not like other agricultural areas (where windmills have been constructed),” said Reichenbach. “A lot of people have built second homes here, and there are full recreational areas.”
By Joe Parmon
Telegram Staff Writer
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