Seven property owners in the Town of Prattsburgh must allow a wind farm developer to dig on their land.
That’s because the town board voted to proceed with eminent domain Tuesday night.
Neighbors lined a street outside Prattsburgh town hall before the town board held its meeting to determine if they should use the power of eminent domain for a wind farm project. Several neighbors for wind farms held signs and wore green just to show their support for the project.
Town hall was packed inside with neighbors.
Officials voted three to two to proceed with eminent domain. That’s when a government can force a property owner to sell their land for a project that benefits the entire area.
The move comes after seven property owners who, officials said, wouldn’t give permission to have a cable be buried underneath a town road to connect the wind turbines.
Wind farm developer, First Wind, plans on building 36 wind turbines that look much like turbines already operating Cohocton. 48 properties in Prattsburgh would be affected by the project.
“I believe in clean energy and we now have an oil crisis in our nation, electricity bills are going up and everything is sky-rocketing.” said supporter Joe Barkalow.
“I think small wind towers in conjunction with solar and hydro could be better than this project. I don’t feel it will be beneficial for our community.” said protestor Ruth Matilsky.
Town officials have been going through negotiations with First Wind since July of last year.
Board members were also expected to iron out legal issues involving two local school districts. Earlier this year, the school districts challenged a deal between the town and first wind. Districts are concerned about the loss of tax revenue because of the deal. Neither school district officials nor town officials would comment last night.
Reported by: Raegan Medgie
25 June 2008
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