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Somerset town board is obliged to formally oppose Lighthouse Wind  

Credit:  By Alan Isselhard | Lockport Union-Sun & Journal | July 1, 2015 | www.lockportjournal.com ~~

As a result of the Town of Somerset wind survey that was just completed, showing that 64 percent of respondents do not want the Lighthouse Wind project in Somerset, and the supervisor’s letter finally taking a position opposed to the Lighthouse Wind project, the Somerset town board should pass a resolution against the Apex Clean Energy LLC Lighthouse Wind project at their next town board meeting.

The Somerset town board should pass a resolution declaring they will not sign a PILOT agreement with any wind developer and notify Apex of such.

After a town board resolution against this project, notice of this action should be sent to the New York State Public Service Commission and added to its web site under case #14-F-0485. Notice of this action should be sent to every stakeholder listed by Apex in their Public Involvement Plan. All towns in Niagara and Orleans counties should also be notified, by the town of Somerset, of its rejection of this project.

The Somerset town board should ask for help from state Sen. Rob Ortt and Assembly Member Jane Corwin to keep this project out of Somerset. The board should notify the Niagara County Legislature of its action rejecting this unwanted project and ask that the Legislature support keeping this project out of Somerset and Niagara County.

The town board should make a sincere effort to help get the coal-powered electric plant (formerly AES) converted to natural gas.

The board should view the award-winning anti-wind movie “Windfall” and pass a moratorium on wind projects until the zoning laws are updated.

It should also demand that Apex sign the NYS Attorney General’s wind ethics code and pressure the Attorney General to compel this action.

Conflicted town board and planning board members and town officials should recuse themselves from discussing the Lighthouse Wind project at town meetings and should not vote on any part of this matter.

Somerset should quickly update its zoning regulations regarding wind as the regulations are too weak. Particular attention should be given to noise, setbacks, property values, decommissioning and turbine heights. The town should review and adopt the most restrictive zoning regulations it can muster to protect the community, particularly those regulations concerning noise. Setbacks should be 1 mile, minimum. Decommissioning should require that the wind developer leave reasonable cash with the town for each turbine erected, to be sure enough money is available to remove a turbine when it is not functioning and is decommissioned.

And since the Lighthouse Wind website claims wind turbines don’t affect the value of homes even when turbines are located within 1/2 mile from a home, Apex Clean Energy LLC shouldn’t mind a property value guarantee. A property value guarantee should be included in any new updated Somerset wind zoning laws.

Somerset land owners should be discouraged from signing leases with any wind developer either now or in the future. Keeping this Lighthouse Wind project out of Somerset will protect property owners that have made the grave mistake of already signing a lease with Apex.

The extensive, grim lease information presented at the April 29 informational meeting in Somerset is a huge warning to possible lessors. Beware the Apex Clean Energy LLC lease! Great Lakes Wind Truth has analyzed the Apex Lighthouse Wind lease in depth and concluded it is heavily detrimental to lessors.

Right now is the time the Town of Yates should follow suit with Somerset and reject the Lighthouse Wind project. Yates should also update its weak wind zoning laws, as the Lighthouse Wind project is threatening this community too.

This is a town election year and voters should elect anti-wind representatives. The town supervisor’s position plus two council seats are up for election. The town board’s position on Lighthouse Wind is critical, as important decisions in this matter rest with the town board in the immediate future and could determine a go-no go result on this project.

There are numerous strong reasons why this Lighthouse Wind project should not be built and we should all work toward that end, should Apex continue. If the state siting board grants a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need allowing Apex to build this Lighthouse Wind project, the affected towns should pursue this matter through the state court system vigorously.

I believe there’s a good chance the Power NY Act of 2011 could be declared unconstitutional, because our constitutional right to “home rule” has been stolen from us by the state and Governor Cuomo.

The Somerset community has given its opinion and it’s nearly two-to-one against wind energy.

Alan Isselhard is a Wolcott resident and a member of Great Lakes Wind Truth.

Source:  By Alan Isselhard | Lockport Union-Sun & Journal | July 1, 2015 | www.lockportjournal.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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