Interested residents will have the opportunity Tuesday to learn more about a proposed wind turbine project in Jefferson County that will impact residents in Oswego County.
The project, proposed for Galloo Island, located in the Jefferson County Town of Hounsfield, would require power lines to come ashore off Lake Ontario in Henderson and travel south through Oswego County to Parish.
Oswego County legislators have received telephone calls from angry constituents who received letters requesting the sale of right-of-ways or face eminent-domain proceedings.
Upstate NY Power, the company sending the letters, has applied to install 77 wind turbines in Jefferson County. Legislators said they were caught off guard by their constituents because, until the calls, they had no knowledge about the proposed project.
A meeting on the proposed wind farm was held in Jefferson County Feb. 14, the same day as a legislature meeting. Because of the conflict, Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann sent a representative while Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County sent Director Paul Forestiere. Local Assemblyman Will Barclay attended on behalf of the county, as well.
The meeting room had accommodations for 100 people and more than 150 showed up, Leemann said. For that reason, he said, the local meeting was arranged in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Mat Brower of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will be the guest speaker, while representatives from Upstate New York Power, the company seeking to place the wind turbines, will be present, as well. A representative of the Public Service Commission will also attend, Leemann noted.
Leemann said he will be in attendance as will Assemblyman Barclay and other local officials.
Leemann said that he has heard that the wind turbine company is looking to see what sort of reception they get from county residents and, if they are not well-received, may find an alternate route for the power lines, although it could still be through Oswego County.
“We’ve been told the power-line trail is negotiable,” Leemann stated.
Residents who received the letters were told if they did not respond by Feb. 25, the company might use the power of eminent domain to obtain access to their properties.
Lawmakers urged residents not to make any hasty decisions; the meeting is geared so that farmers who have been approached by the company can make informed decisions regarding the transfer or sale of any right-of-way for the construction of the 230-kilovolt power line.
Leemann said he expects there will be a large attendance at the meeting. It is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Court House in Pulaski.
by Carol Thompson
15 March 2008
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