Many readers are aware of the controversy that has gripped the town of Orangeville for the past five years. An unsolicited multi-national corporation decided that it wanted to use the wind resource in our town and turn the township into a platform for profits. To add insult to injury, much of the profit will come from our taxes in the form of government subsidies and handouts. For the past five years a citizens’ group has fought hard to preserve the rural and local nature of Orangeville that attracted many to Orangeville in the first place. Many legitimate issues were raised about the effects of a wind project in the town both on local residents and on residents of surrounding townships including Warsaw and Attica.
But big money is now turning Orangeville into a “company-owned town.” Who can miss the caravan of cement trucks that are busily filling in our special places? Who can miss the caravan of other trucks carrying crushed stone for the access roads that cover once pristine countryside? Just look at the numbers: Each foundation for each wind turbine requires over 300 cubic yards of concrete. With nearly 60 turbines, the amount of concrete being poured into Orangeville soil will be well in excess of 18,000 cubic yards of non-native concrete. This requires 1,800 round-trips of cement trucks of 10 cubic yard capacity. And more truckloads still for the access roads. Who is keeping track of the damage to state and county roads as this onslaught continues? Importantly, who will pay for the damage to surrounding townships?
How will we go about repairing the damage to half the towns-peoples’ lives and property losses? How will we protect our health, safety and welfare?
Previous actions of the Town Board provide no comfort here. The current and previous Town Board acted more as agents for big business than as civil representatives of the residents who elected them in the first place. Therefore, it is safe to assume that we will receive no help or sympathy from the very people who crafted the zoning laws that brought this Invenergy project into our town.
It is time for Orangeville managers to stand up and take a bow … Susan May, Tom Schabloski, Andrew Flint, James Hermann and Hans Boxler (who already has benefited from Invenergy L.L.C.’s wind project in Sheldon).
Additionally, these Town Board members passed a resolution that raises a hurdle and a barrier to any taxpayer who wishes to have a complaint heard … even problems of health and noise damage. We will have to pay a sizable amount to an arbitrator to even have our complaints heard. Conflicts of interest used to be illegal … for these reasons – and more – we all must vote in mass numbers against these people during elections later this year.
So where do we go from here?
What is happening in Orangeville is not limited to Orangeville. Pilots and airfields in the neighboring townships of Attica and Warsaw are being adversely affected. The integrity of the Wyoming County emergency broadcast tower is being affected. Local wells and the Attica Reservoir may be at risk of becoming polluted. Roadways are deteriorating in surrounding townships. The view of the night sky is being reduced to an industrial complex of blinking red lights.
But inaction of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors aside, many residents are not “rolling over and playing dead” in response to this destruction of our town of Orangeville and our lives. A group of citizens have already contacted Richard Lippes (winning attorney of Love Canal fame, and currently defending homeowners against corporate greed in the town of Attica). This group of thoughtful individuals is growing by leaps and bounds and has already formally put landowners on notice of their intent to seek legal remedies for any damages caused by the coming 43-story high industrial turbines.
The current Town Board is an accomplice in setting the stage for these potential lawsuits by minimizing the required distance between citizens and these behemoth machines. The coming turbines will sweep an area nearly 50 percent larger than anything that we have seen to date in neighboring Sheldon, Bliss or Wethersfield.
As the destruction and damage to Orangeville continues to unfold, it is important that we take back the leadership of any township that would willingly destroy itself for short-term profit. Profit for the few at the expense of the many.
If the current situation distresses you, a good next move is to contact “Where to go from Here,” P.O. Box 308, Warsaw, NY 14569; or phone (585) 786-2733 and we’ll get your message to those concerned.