YATES – The candidates put forward by the town of Yates more than two months ago for a state siting board concerning the proposed Lighthouse Wind project say they expect Gov. Andrew Cuomo to soon make his choice between them.
An official from the Governor’s Office has reached out in the last week to the four Yates residents suggested by then-Yates Supervisor soon after a preliminary scoping statement was filed for the wind energy project in November.
Russell Martino, who along with Cynthia Hellert, Glen Maid and Jeff Oakes were nominated as a local representative to the ad-hoc siting board, said the contact did not ask anything about his views of the project.
“They’ve asked each of the four to have a resume and a short bio to them as soon as possible, so the selection can be made,” Martino said.
He expects the decision may come as soon as this week. Maid has gained the same impression from talking with neighbors.
“I did not hear it from (the state) but from other sources. I heard sometime last week or this week,” Maid said. “But they’ll pick it at their choosing.”
The four candidates have been in limbo since Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie passed on his authority to select one of two local members to a board that will review the project. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan has selected Cathi Orr of Somerset as the other.
Heastie’s decision sent the choice to Cuomo, who had 45 days to make his choice. The Governor’s office has not responded to multiple requests to elaborate on the timeframe for the decision and the eligibility of candidates.
Maid would’ve liked to see the pick made by now.
“They could do it by coin toss, dart board … pick one, we need to be represented,” he said.
The developers proposing a wind energy project along the Orleans and Niagara lakeshore have added their urging for Cuomo to fill out the siting board. In a letter filed Tuesday, Lighthouse Wind Project Manager Taylor Quarles urged a choice that would continue efforts to give the community a voice in the process.
“As you are aware, local community involvement and input is of critical importance throughout the Article 10 process,” Quarles says in the letter. “Lighthouse Wind has embarked on an ambitious Public Involvement Program Plan that has included, among other things, numerous meetings with stakeholders, open house meetings with the public, consultations with State and local government agencies, and opening a local office in the project area that is staffed four days a week. Throughout the PIP process, the community has urged the importance of local input.”
“Your prompt action in this regard will ensure that both towns and counties in the Lighthouse Project area have representation on the Siting Board as ad hoc members.”
Appeals have also been made by the area’s legislative representatives.
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