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Neighbors voicing opinions in wind farm project  

Neighbors in one Southern Tier community want their opinions heard on a controversial wind farm project.

James Hall owns more than 30 acres of land in Prattsburgh. Plans call for a wind farm to be built on 48 properties here. Some land owners have already agreed to sell.
A month ago town officials voted to use eminent domain, if needed, to take the rest, including Hall’s. Eminent domain is when a government can force a property owner to sell his land for a project that benefits the entire area. But Hall says the town hasn’t proven that the wind farm will be beneficial to the area.

“If we allow the misuse of eminent domain for profit margins from any developer that does not provide a public benefit to the community, we are setting a precedent that can be used by gas leases and oil leases,” says Hall.

“It’s just fundamentally wrong. This is not the American way to condemn people’s property for a private project that hasn’t been deemed as a positive impact on the town,” says Al Wordingham.

The developer, First Wind, plans on building 36 wind turbines like already up in near-by Cohocton. Some Prattsburgh neighbors say the turbines will be too noisy and will affect wildlife. They’re also concerned they will decrease the value of their properties. Neighbors are getting a chance to voice their opinions on eminent domain at a public meeting.

“It will create jobs. I think it’ll help the energy situation with the price of gas these days,” says Rich Simpson, who’s lived in Plattsburgh for 30 years.

Town and First Wind officials did not return our calls for comment.

Reported by: Naveen Dhaliwal

WTEM 18 Online

22 May 2008

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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