Litchfield, NY – (WIBX) Green Energy or Greed Energy? That’s what one resident who brought the town hall meeting in Litchfield to an abrupt end asked as she accused the Town Supervisor of corruption. Litchfield resident Pat Christensen said she discovered through her own research that Town Supervisor, Wayne Casler is trying to rush the approval process for the proposed Wind Turbines Project for his own financial gain.
Christensen said, “They [Town Board Members] were trying to pass a project in a town where half the residents don’t even know what’s going on, or how badly it’s [Wind Turbines] going to affect their lives. Whether it be the noise or declining property values; what’s going on?” Town Board Member James Entwistle explained that a year ago, a company named, Northwind and Power build a wind measurement tower to explore a possible wind project in the town of Litchfield. However, in order for the project to move forward it has to go through an approval process, which includes town hall meetings with residents. But residents complained, saying they are being kept out of the dialogue by Town Supervisor, Wayne Casler and other Town Board Members.
Christensen said when she asked why the Town Board Members were not sending mailers out to residents to inform them of the Wind Turbine process she was told that it was too costly to send out mailers. She asked, “Why can’t they send us a mailing this important?” Christensen said what got her looking further into the project was when Casler presented residents with a Noise Specialist named Brian Milliman. Christensen said she discovered that Milliman was actually not a Certified Noise Specialist at all but an employee of the contractor set to benefit from the Wind Turbine Project; Barrett Paving.
Christensen said, “I found out he wasn’t certified and now I found out he’s a Barrett Employee. Brian Milliman for sure was definitely a Barrett Paving employee.” The Town Meeting turned sour and adjourned after Christensen told residents, who packed the Town Hall, and Board Members of her findings, saying what makes this a clear conflict of interest is that the Town Supervisor, Wayne Casler, is also the Regional Controller for Barret Paving, the contractor that stands to gain the most from the Wind Turbine Project, which is why she is accusing him of trying to rush the approval process through without any input from the residents of Litchfield.
Town Board Member, James Entwistle said he was against the project from the start. He said, “It’s hard to go against Green Energy but the more you look into it, the more the Green Energy is green dollar bills for wind developers.” Entwistle also touched on the allegations brought up against Town Superviser, Wayne Casler saying, “I’ve had concerns for quite a while on quite a few things with this whole process.” He said he will look into the allegations and wait to pass judgement.
Other residents in attendance called for Casler’s impeachment from the Town Board and to put the Wind Turbine Project on hold until further studies and analysis are conducted. After Christensen dramatically presented her findings to the Town Board, Casler abruptly adjoured the meeting and rushed to his car without taking any questions or addressing the allegations or the agitated residents.
The Board voted to address the Wind Turbine issues again during a debate session on October 26 at 7PM in Litchfield Town Hall. Board members say the only questions that will be addressed are those submitted in writing 24-hours before the proceedings. In the meantime, the wind turbine project for the town of Litchfield is on hold until residents and town officials can see eye to eye on the project.