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Wind device to remain in Bluffs despite public outcry

After much debate at City Hall, the white wind-measuring box, that some have called an “eyesore”, will remain on the Scarborough Bluffs until 2012.

Scarbrough-Agincourt councillor Norm Kelly voted to keep the anemometer in place until the contract with Toronto Hydro expires in the fall of next year.

“I don’t support wind turbines as an energy source,” he said. But he feels that since there may be contractual issues if it was to be removed, it should be allowed to remain in Lake Ontario.

Many opposed to the anemometer feel the Bluffs are not well suited to a wind farm. Kelly says that if keeping the device there will prove that to be true, then it is worth it to keep it.

“If the potential of that site to generate the winds to power the turbines is accurate, namely that there isn’t enough, then terrific; let’s get that confirmed,“ he said. “Let’s make it more than just speculation.”

Roy Wright, resident of Guildwood for more than 40 years and president of Save the Toronto Bluffs, says there is a greater issue.

“Everywhere in Ontario, where they put an anemometer, a wind farm has followed,” he said. “So this is the first major step. They have been working on this for years and they are not going to give up easy.”

Wright says he understands why the decision was made to keep the device there, due to the $1.5 million already spent on research.

“What I didn’t know was that it was still costing Toronto $1,000 a month,” he said. “The problem is they definitely want to put them in the lake, and that’s why they are carrying on this research.”

The executive committee, which includes Mayor Rob Ford, ultimately decided to keep the device in place, however they also committed to not extend any contract and keep the anemometer on schedule.