Tonight, in a nearly filled Jefferson County Community College auditorium, anti-wind and pro-wind citizens heard NY 118 District Assembly Member Addie Russell tell them that Article X legislation will never allow wind turbines to be built in our area. (New York’s Golden Crescent on Lake Ontario and the Thousand Island’s Region of the St. Lawrence River.)
During the JCC symposium, Assemblyman Kevin Cahill explained the pros and procedures of Article X legislation.
Then, Assembly person Addie Russell explained the many reasons why she voted against the Power NY-Article X legislation.
She said it was not that she was anti-wind. There was a place for it in our State’s energy portfolio. But, it can be overly utilized.
Addie expressed deep concern for the loss of the home values of people living near turbines and she was also concerned about the threat of eminent domain, including the loss of the rights of the industrial wind leaseholders because of what they give up to the wind developers when they sign leases.
“Article X will never allow them to be built here”, said Russell. “I believe industrial wind is done for the entire region. With Article X, we have just lost the ability to have the projects that have been proposed here. Article X has relieved us of the burden of industrial wind.”
Industrial wind projects are proposed for Cape Vincent, Clayton, Lyme and Hammond, NY.
Russell then said that on a local level, our communities can now be free to look at other ways to control our energy needs with personal wind towers and solar.
Kevin Cahill agreed with Russell by saying that the view shed of our area is a legitimate reason for local municipalities to object to Article X sitings of industrial wind.
Cahill also emphasized that Article will bring some towns back into the decision making because “some towns were corrupted”. His statement was followed by a long round of applause by the mostly anti-wind attendees. During the question and answer period on person commented that their town had thrown out the industrial wind conflicted public servants.
I went to the microphone and thanked Assembly member Addie Russell for her defense of local rule and her opposition vote on Article X. I then asked Assemblyman Kevin Cahill if the locally appointed members of the Article X siting boards were voting members. He said yes.
During the question and answer period, Voter for Wind member, Paul Mason of Cape Vincent told Russell that Cape Vincent had lost home rule because of last November’s absentee votes by the seasonal voters. Russell replied that because of that issue, more people now have the right to vote on the wind decision. She also told Mr. Mason to be careful what he wished for because Article X means that the uniqueness of our area and its view shed will probably prohibit wind turbines.
When Russell and Cahill were told that Cape Vincent had very good wind, Cahill replied not to worry because all of the other places they will be put in New York State will have good wind, too.
Lyme Town Council member Boo Harris asked Cahill and Russell if placing an outright ban on turbines in a community would be considered an undue burden by Article X siting boards. Addie Russell replied that a ban would probably not pass the test of the courts and a town would be better off with a well written zoning ordinance.
Russell explained that in New York State there is no need for all of the wind projects proposed, especially where there is no existing delivery system. And, in conclusion, she said, “probably this is it for wind development here because of our unique area”.
She then added that She and Kevin Cahill are proponents of solar power.
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