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Irondequoit: No to wind turbines in Lake Ontario

The Irondequoit Town Board voted unanimously Tuesday night for a resolution to oppose wind turbines in Lake Ontario. Greece and Webster already did it. Now you can add Irondequoit to the list of towns saying – not in my back yard.

“It is mainly about desecrating our natural resource,” said Robert Ament.

He’s a lifelong resident of Irondequoit and is against the proposal by the State Power Authority to put giant windmills about two miles off shore in Lake Ontario.

“One of the wonderful things about the Great Lakes and why they call them the Great Lakes is when you look out over the lake – it’s the vast open space that gives you that feeling of greatness,” said Ament.

He’s not alone in his opposition. The majority of people at Tuesday night’s meeting spoke against Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project, or GLOW.

“What we’re asking you to do is speak up now because that’s that’s the only opportunity that we have,” said Christopher Fox to the Town Board. “We don’t have a seat at the table when it comes time to negotiate how’s this going to look, where they’re going to go.”

But other residents like Susan Nielsen says there could be benefits that the community will never know about.

“If you resolve to oppose the GLOW project before that project’s details have even seen the light of day, it will be an example of fearful government operating without facts and experts,” said Nielsen.

The Irondequoit Town Board made it’s decision. Like Greece and Webster, Irondequoit is not interested in a wind farm near it’s shores. But the resolution might not even matter.

“All these small towns voting against it is purely symbolic,” said Ament. “They have no bearing on the progress of this project.”

Town Supervisor Mary Joyce D’Aurizio says no matter what resolutions town boards pass, the state can do whatever it wants. The New York Power Authority’s CEO says right now there are no identified projects, but there are proposals.

It would be years before we could see wind turbines in Lake Ontario. The earliest is estimated to be 2013. Once a project is identified, there would be two years of reviews which would include public input.