In recent months, a growing topic of concern in the town of Enfield has been the possibility of a wind farm on Connecticut Hill.
John Rancich, an Ithaca-area housing developer who has tested wind speeds and directions between Buck and Connecticut hills since November 2006, presented his findings to community members Wednesday night at the Enfield community building.
Rancich is a 30-year Enfield resident, and his house is directly across from where the proposed wind mills would sit.
“I’m not an outsider coming in to capitalize (on this),” Rancich said. “I’m trying to do this upfront and make it as much of a community effort as possible.”
The wind farm has raised some concern from residents in the area. Cliff Newhart, who lives on Black Oak Road across from Rancich’s 60-meter meteorological tower, believes the negatives far outweigh any positives, saying wind turbines would ruin the area’s natural beauty.
“People moved and live here because it’s peaceful and quiet,” Newhart said.
Rancich is more concerned with the positive environmental impact the wind farm would have, as well as the idea that somebody will develop the plot if he doesn’t.
“This site is too valuable to be ignored,” Rancich said. “My wind speeds are excellent, excellent, excellent.”
Rancich has already dedicated large chunks of time and money to the project. Including his time, he estimates that he’s spent about $500,000 since October 2006.
With all the time and money Rancich has put into his tests and studies on wind farms from around the country, he expects to make a profit, he said. But this doesn’t mean he hopes to be the only profiteer on this endeavor.
“I have given the town a chance to own the whole project after a number of years, (and) I’ve offered the town a chance to share in the profits immediately,” Rancich said.
Those who live within a certain radius from the proposed wind turbines would also receive a percentage of what the wind mills generate. And homeowners who have a wind tower directly on their land would receive an additional payment, Rancich said.
By Tim Ashmore
3 May 2007
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