Irondequoit, N.Y. – The Irondequoit Town Board has joined with other lakeside towns in Monroe County and throughout Upstate New York in opposing the New York Power Authority’s Great Lakes Offshore Wind project, called GLOW for short.
At its well-attended meeting tonight, the board voted unanimously to oppose the project, which could put wind turbines in Lake Ontario, as close as two miles off the Irondequoit shore, as it is currenlty proposed.
The “no” resolution had bipartisan support from the board.
“I believe it is not appropriate for the shoreline of Irondequoit,” said Democratic Town Councilwoman Stephanie Aldersley. “The grandeur of the lake shore should not be compromised.”
Republican colleague Deborah Essley said she also “fully and heartily” supported the “no” vote.
Councilman Paul Marasco did propose an amendment to the resolution, adding language to say the town should have a voice and input into any future project, and a deciding vote on whether or not it occurs. The amendment was also unanimously approved.
“The environmental impact the project could have is very disturbing to me,” said Councilman John Perticone.
Supervisor Mary Joyce D’Aurizio did say during board discussion of the resolution that she and other county supervisors, along with Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, did meet with a power authority representative on the project last Friday, “but NYPA has not, in any form, reached out to the communities (the project would impact) … We do have a fiduciary responsibility to protect our residents, including their land, water and air.”
Prior to the vote, more than two dozen citizens addressed the board about the project. Less than a handful of those spoke in support of the project.
The vast majority of speakers urged the board to vote “no on GLOW,” as it did.
“Don’t do anything that would make the lake less enjoyable,” said sport fisherman and Irondequoit resident Rich Plukas.
Van Voorhis Road resident Susan Nielsen, on the other hand, said opposing the project now, without more information, “would be an example of fearful government.” She asked the board to discard the resolution and “wait and see.”
Rock Beach Road resident Christopher Fox, however, said, “We know enough about the (negative) impact (of the project) on the local economy and local environment” to oppose it.
While John Collins of Hurstbourne Road presented the board with a petition signed by 37 residents asking that a vote on the “no” resolution be delayed, Shirley Dittman presented a petition signed by 739 voters, 70 of them from Irondequoit, urging the board to vote against GLOW.
Opponents of the project celebrated the victory and credited a real grassroots effort.
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