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Cape Vincent wind power meeting message to BP: “Go Home!”

Town officials and community members from the Jefferson County towns of Cape Vincent and Lyme gave BP a clear signal at a meeting last night in Cape Vincent: a wind farm isn’t welcome there.

Hundreds turned out for the meeting. Signs reading, “BP Go Home!” filled the town recreation hall parking lot. Wind power supporters were present as well, filling up half the room with green t-shirts that read, “I love wind power.”

But the town officials were solidly anti-wind. Members of the two town’s boards and Planning Boards grilled the BP representative Richard Chandler about the company’s plans

Marie Millington is a member of Lyme’s Planning Board.

“You have said in every answer you are willing to work with us,” she said. “All I’ve heard is ‘BP, BP, BP.’ It has been all yours: what we want, what we think, what we are going to do. What don’t you understand? In our boards and our towns, you are not welcomed.”

BP’s proposed project would include 124 turbines in the town of Cape Vincent and a transmission line through the town of Lyme. BP’s Chandler acknowledged that the current wind farm plan would violate Cape Vincent’s zoning laws.

The most anger was directed at the company for opting for the state’s Article X review process, which can overrule such local laws if they’re deemed “unreasonable.”

At the end of the meeting, Cape Vincent Town Supervisor Urban Hirschey presented BP’s Chandler with a “gift” of a mini wind turbine.

“May all your turbines be this size,” he said, to loud applause.