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Tilting at windmills  

A company called Invenergy wants to put about 30 wind turbines in the Town of Stamford in Delaware County. As NewsChannel 34’s Peter Quinn reports, many residents of the town are trying to stop it. The view of the countryside here is simply beautiful. Add in 30 or so 400 foot-high energy makers on the hillsides and the view just isn’t the same. That’s the concern of some people including Donna Houghton.

Donna says, “It’s just a beautiful place and we hate to see the top of the mountain destroyed by these big turbines.” Add in wildlife displacement, possible real estate devaluation, noise and health concerns, including possible nerve damage and sleeplessness and many residents don’t like the idea. Houghton says if the town was getting first dibs on the power produced by the turbines or if they were only 200 feet high it wouldn’t be nearly as bad. Town Supervisor, Pat Ryan says one of the town’s problems is its lack of zoning or comprehensive plan. Ryan says that puts Stamford at the mercy of companies like Invenergy. So, at the town board meeting, a windmill regulation law was passed, to give the town more leverage.

Ryan says, “We have at least ten hoops that the applicant will have to jump through concerning historical preservation, erosion controls, noise levels, shadow flicker, all of these issues will have to be addressed by the applicant. The new law would also force Invenergy to get approval from the town before more than one-third of the company pulls out of the area. It’s designed in part to make sure broken down turbines aren’t just left on the hillsides. People opposing the turbines aren’t necessarily opposed to the regulatory law passed. However, several people I talked with say they feel they were kept in the dark. And, say the town’s vote was illegal because a public hearing should have been held after changes were made to the resolution. Not everyone though is against the turbine idea. Some farmers stand to get thousands of dollars every year for leasing their land to Invenergy. Also, people who don’t see the hillside like the idea of a possible tax break because of the taxes Invenergy would have to pay on its potential 30 million dollar investment. Houghton says she just wants the issue settled because right now her plans are on hold. Houghton says, “My main concern is we are planning on building, but are at a stand-still. Because if they put these turbines up we aren’t going to build here.” Houghton is one of about 125 people that have signed a petition opposing the project.

At this point Invenergy has not officially filed paperwork for approval to do the project, although it has been in talks with landowners.

Posted by Peter Keane

newschannel34.com

17 May 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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