The controversy over the proposed wind farm in the Chipmonk and Knapp Creek area in the town of Allegany is nothing new. At this stage, with not just one, but two lawsuits filed by Allegany Wind against the town of Allegany still unresolved, it’s unsettling to see the “Support Allegany Wind” signs cropping up around the area.
Area municipalities and their code compliance personnel should be reviewing their ordinances regarding restrictions on the placement of such business advertisements.
In reality, it was not the local town board that hindered the project from going forward, as referenced by Mr. LaForge in the Olean Times Herald article, but rather, EverPower and Allegany Wind LLC’s attempt to manipulate the project to their own self-serving interest without regard to Allegany’s zoning laws. Rather than complete the environmental-impact study based on changes they proposed, they brought forward two lawsuits, one each against the planning board and town board.
After the New York State Supreme Court decisively dismissed their litigation against the planning board, they filed an appeal that is working through the court system.
EverPower’s permit expired in 2012 and hasn’t been renewed, yet we see a few strategically placed signs around Allegany siding with this foreign-owned company over their own town. What warrants this alliance based on the prospect of potential temporary, short-term jobs? President Obama has asked Congress to permanently extend federal tax credits for big wind at a price tag of $24.7 billion over the next 10 years, and on Oct. 2 a House subcommittee took up the request. These tax credits otherwise expire at the end of this year, and this is undoubtedly why EverPower has fired up its few supporters.
Some local area businesses are also displaying signs prompting some customers to take their business elsewhere. By allowing an Allegany Wind advertisement in its entryway, even our own Allegany American Legion has gone against its own mission – to be nonpartisan, with committed continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans, and which states it “belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives.”
It’s a slap in the face to our community and to local veterans who have documented real concerns for the health impacts such a project would have on them. It is regrettable if a few American Legion members are placing their personal agendas above that venerable institution’s nonpartisan commitment.
It’s extremely unfortunate, considering the widening wedge this project is causing within our community. I dare say these alliances will have repercussions for a long time to come.
(Mr. Boser lives on Chipmonk Road in Allegany.)
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