Wind Farms? We already have clean and excess power from water, nuclear and gas.
To the people of Barker/Somerset, I feel for you and your windmill problem. Thousands of others, and I read your ad in a recent Niagara Gazette edition exhibiting your dissatisfaction over an idea that came back from 2006/2007. Just to refresh your memories, in 2008, then Town of Somerset/Barker Supervisor Richard Myers was quoted as saying “The community as a whole was overwhelming in support of wind power,” Was the whole community supportive then? How about now?
In a Niagara Gazette article that appeared on July 6, 2008, it was stated; “Under the agreement, the company would work out deals with individual property owners to build wind mills on their land. A payment-in-lieu of taxes has been worked out between the town, the Somerset School District and Niagara County.” That sounded nice didn’t it? The article continued, “The company will sell the electricity generated into the states grid and the town will receive a cut of the profits, starting at 60 percent the first four years and rising to 75 percent in 11 years, if the agreement is passed.” That sounds good doesn’t it?
These wind power companies hire only the best salesmen available anywhere in the world. They come into town, and talk to your leadership whom you are supposed to trust to act in good faith on your behalf, putting your welfare first. Now, if the leadership says that’s a good idea, our town needs the money, they’ll jump on the “green wagon,” and sell it to your residents as being a good thing. Heck, they’ll say, we don’t even have to do any research; the salesman told us it was a great thing. Lots of money for your community, its clean energy, healthy, and everyone will prosper. It will bring good paying jobs, and with the runoff from that, businesses will prosper. Then 20 years later, when the life expectancy of these windmills comes to an end, who is responsible for them? The company who put them there? Taxpayers? Ha, guess.
I am not against going ‘Green,’ what I am against, is the going green where you are not wanted, and these windmills do harm to human beings, its been proven, and not only that, property values will plunge.
Take the blindfolds off people. There are only a couple of companies in the United States building U.S. made windmills like GE, and a couple others. The majority of ‘mills are built in Denmark, shipped over here, assembled here, then installed. Now, everyone can sit back and say, “boy it feels good to have all this electricity around me, but if I could only have my green meadows and pastures back, have my silence restored, see my beautiful tree lines, have the farmland back, and my birds and other wildlife, then, I’d be all set.” Don’t believe these builders when they sell you about these ‘mills being silent. That is so far from the truth, it’s a shame they are allowed to mumble things like that. The noise is constant, some days louder than others. It is not noise you would choose to be around, and it is noise you cannot escape.
According to a report in the Denver Post, these big wind “turbines also can erase aircraft on civilian and military radar, and the whirling blades can mislead meteorologists into thinking a wind farm is a thunderstorm.” So don’t believe the salesmen of these ‘mills when they say they are silent.
But wait! Where are those jobs? There were all these people to be put to work, but most came from out of town, now suddenly they all left town, and are working somewhere else building more farms. I’ll bet, you will be left with four to eight full time jobs that will be maintenance workers. Well, at least you have bragging rights now, you can tell everyone you have the tallest windmills of any town in New York state that were subsidized by the government, (state and federal) in fact, the whole project was subsidized by them (Us.)
People of Somerset/Barker/Yates and the other small surrounding towns in the neighborhood are being sold out. Your friends and neighbors are selling out to these wind factories. I took a ride down through your area recently and I saw the numerous yellow, black and red signs on the edges of your properties, and I wondered why there aren’t more of the neighbors showing signs of concern.
Maybe they just don’t know enough about these things. Obviously not everybody who lives near a turbine is going to have an issue, but there are some people who will, and they could be severe to some families, including families with children. Maybe they don’t care about the 24/7 flickering of the aviation lights on the top of these near 600 foot monstrosities that are mounted on the highest hills in the area, and the constant wup-wup-wup of the blades turning 24/7, and the devastating effect on wildlife. (And your pets) Maybe some are unconcerned about dwindling property values. Who would want to buy a home surrounded by windmills?
In 2007/2008, the big money wanted to put offshore windmills in Lake Ontario, right near the outlet of the Niagara River. Boaters, fishermen, local Yacht Club, tourists, were all outraged by this pipe dream big money had. After a few meetings like the one you just had were well attended. Our Niagara County Legislature was 100 percent behind saying no, and not allowing this project to disrupt our peaceful way of life and the life threatening sickness it would have brought to the residents. The Niagara County legislator discussed this, and put together a committee headed by Legislators David Godfrey and Clyde Burmaster. They were on top of things right from the git-go, and residents were pleased with the results.
Three last questions: 1) Are there any power shortages in your areas right now? 2) Are there shortages anywhere else in this great county/state of ours? 3) Does anyone know if a community host agreement is in place with the wind farm builders? Remember there is already excess power in our grids from other clean resources like water, gas, and nuclear power.
Mark Daul is a Youngstown resident.
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