A group of 7 Steuben County neighbors trying to stall a wind farm project from springing up in their back yards lost a court battle Tuesday morning.
However, they say the battle is far from over.
Angela Cannon says she likes the view of the Cohocton wind turbines from her home in Prattsburgh.
She wouldn’t mind seeing them in Prattsburgh too.
“I am for these wind farms from an environmental perspective and an energy perspective.” Says Neighbor Angela Cannon
But some neighbors are against the wind turbine project in Prattsburgh.
They filed a lawsuit against the Prattsburgh Town Supervisor.
Back in April, the town board voted 3 to 2 for eminent domain.
The wind farm developer needs small slivers of land from the 7 landowners to bury underground cables.
Supervisor Harold McConnell was the deciding vote.
But wind farm opponent Al Wordingham says the town supervisor helped first wind purchase a piece of land and feels that’s a conflict of interest.
However, a Steuben County judge disagreed and dismissed the lawsuit, in part because the developer wasn’t asked to be in court to defend the project.
“I think any decision she would have made without the developer in there would have just necessitated further litigation.” Says Prattsburgh Town Attorney John Leyeen
“UPC wind developers have an interest that could be affected by a determination in this case.” Says Landowner’s Attorney Derek Brocklebank
First Wind officials say 90 percent of the landowners are okay with a cable, similar to this one buried in the middle of their road. While other neighbors in the area have mixed feelings.
“There’s always people for and always people against, it’s going to come sooner or later so why not do it now.” Says Neighbor Sharon Morrell
“I feel it’s about time we really took some action trying to come up with our own renewable energy source.” Says Cannon
The seven people who filed the lawsuit say they’ll file an appeal on Thursday.
This is a comment from first wind on today’s hearing:
“We appreciate the strong community partnership that has helped get the Prattsburgh Wind Project where it is today and we remain committed to moving forward with the project. In the short term, we are focused on completing the necessary pre-construction activities for the project. We’re confident the project will deliver a wide range of economic and environmental benefits to the community and surrounding region.”
Reported by: Camille Williams
1 July 2008
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