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Wind turbines could help eastern Broome, expert says

Wind turbines could turn on the hills of eastern Broome County, creating energy and jobs for local residents, an economic development expert said Thursday.

“We can take advantage of our hilltops,” said Jim DiMascio, executive director of the Greater Binghamton Coalition. “We can create clean renewable energy here in eastern Broome County.”

DiMascio discussed wind turbines and other forms of renewable energy during a forum on economic development of eastern Broome County held Thursday night in the Windsor Community House. About 40 people attended.

Sponsored by the Windsor Democratic Committee, Thursday’s forum was the first in a series of non-partisan monthly forums to learn what concerns local residents and what they want to see done for eastern Broome County.

Eastern Broome County’s hills could be a good place for wind farms, DiMascio said. He is already researching wind turbines now being used in other parts of the state, including Madison County.

But Steve Johnson of Harpursville expressed some concerns about wind turbines on hilltops. Wind turbines could spoil the view of the mountains, streams and rivers, he said.

“We have got to be careful,” he said.

DiMascio is also researching biofuels – any form of energy derived from living organisms. Soy beans, corn, wood and switchgrass can be used to make forms of ethanol. “We have the ability to grow any of these products,” he said.

DiMascio said he is willing to research any economic issue residents want him to.

“We aren’t here to tell you what to do,” he said. “We can try to advocate on your behalf.”

Johnson later said he liked the idea of the forums. So did Amy Kenyon, who works as the community economic development director for the village of Deposit. She hopes to network with officials from Windsor and other parts of eastern Broome County.

“They have a lot of similarities,” she said. “I would love to see us work together and take a more regional focus.”

By Connie McKinney
Press & Sun-Bulletin