SOUTHERN TIER – “I think wind turbines are good and if one comes up around here, it’s a good way of using energy,” said Stephanie, a resident in the Town of Dix.
Stephanie and her family live right across the street from where several turbines might be installed next year. Next Era Energy is proposing a $200 million wind farm. The town of Dix put up a test tower a little more than a year ago to measure the wind speed.
The project will include about 50 to 70 wind turbines that will be placed throughout the towns of Dix, Hector, Catherine and Catlin.
Watkins Glen International owns this property in the Town of Dix. They announced they were partnering with Next Era as a landowner last year. WGI officials say the project goes in line with their green initiatives.
“We’re looking forward to playing a positive role and it’ll produce about 200 construction jobs and six to eight full time jobs to manage it,” said Betsy Mayer, Watkins Glen International spokesperson.
Officials in the four towns met with each other to discuss a plan of action Tuesday. They say they have not been faced with any opposition to the project at this point and are prepared to move forward.
“We had a meeting with a consulting group called MRB that has experience with several municipalities, to steer us through this process of road use agreements, site plans,” said Harold Russell, Town of Dix Supervisor.
While Russell is among those who are on board, he says he realizes some residents might be opposed. That’s why he’s making every effort to keep people like Stephanie informed.
“That’s why we’re trying to get this process going, to keep people involved so they don’t get disturbed down the road and say ‘why didn’t we know about this?’” said Russell.
Officials say the project still needs to be approved by the town board. They plan on holding public meetings in the coming months to give everyone a chance to voice their concerns. Those dates have not yet been announced.
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