Oswego County landowners in the path of the proposed transmission line from the Galloo Island Wind Project had their turn Tuesday night to hear background on the project and contract advice.
About 60 members of the public attended a meeting at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, sponsored by the Oswego County Legislature, Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District and Oswego County Cornell Cooperative Extension. The meeting followed a similar format to the Feb. 14 meeting in Henderson.
Robert W. Burgdorf, representative of Upstate NY Power, which is proposing the wind farm, reiterated that the company will work around unwilling landowners. “We want people to sign up because they think it is a good decision,” he said.
As proof, he said that the route already has changed in Jefferson County. The company has moved the route west – closer to Lake Ontario – in the town of Ellisburg after discussions with landowners, the state Department of Agriculture and Markets and other government agencies.
The proposed transmission line would be 230 kilovolts and would run from Galloo Island underwater to Henderson, where it would make landfall north of Robert G. Wehle State Park. From there, it would run south to Parish, where it would connect with a 345-kilovolt line.
Mr. Burgdorf explained the route across rural Jefferson and Oswego counties as the most feasible option based on financial, logistical and environmental factors. Suggested routes underwater to Nine Mile Point, to the Watertown Coffeen Street substation and down the Interstate 81 easement all have been rejected due to cost or grid pressures.
Matthew J. Brower, an agriculture resources specialist for the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, and John E. DeHollander, district manager for Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District, gave examples of potential negative effects, such as soil compaction or erosion during construction. They offered to help landowners survey property and understand what major issues there could be.
The state departments of Agriculture and Markets and Environmental Conservation are involved in the state Public Service Commission’s review of any transmission project.
Deanna R. Nelson, an attorney with Goldberg Segalla, Syracuse, repeatedly told landowners to make sure their expectations make it into their contracts. “Now is the most flexible time to deal with any issues,” she said.
Oswego County Legislator Milford H. Potter said, “It was a good program, but it should’ve been done earlier.” He said he’s had constituents calling him for information but he hasn’t had any to give.
“I’m not against the project,” he said. “But I would like to be able to help the people who call.”
By Nancy Madsen
Times Staff Writer
19 March 2008
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