Residents in the town of Henderson got a look at what the new view could be like if a wind farm is allowed to be built on Galloo Island seven to 12 miles away and what it could mean for the economy and property values.
It was homeowners’ first look at a study that shows the potential impact of the wind farm.
“I think that was our main concern going into this was the damage to the property values,” town Supervisor John Culkin said. “The town’s budget depends on assessed property value, our school system’s budget.”
A team from Clarkson University did the study. It estimates the average home in the town of Henderson could lose 15 percent of its value.
Not everyone would have a clear view of the turbines, but residents are worried if the value of more expensive homes on the water go down, so might others.
“Other properties will be regressively taxed by paying the balance in the community, so it is a concern,” resident Robert Aliasso said.
But statistically, the value of homes levels off.
“It’s often true that what people really don’t like is change, and so once something has changed and then it stabilizes, often times, people will get used to it and property value impacts from that change will decline over time,” Clarkson’s Martin Heintzelman said.
The study also estimates that there wouldn’t really be any jobs created and it would have minor negative impacts on tourism.
The problem is, the town of Hounsfield, where Galloo Island is located, would benefit from tax dollars generated by the facility, not Henderson.
Town officials say they plan to send the study to the state’s Public Service Commission, which would have a hand in approving the project.
“Like you to take a much larger picture that while this may be beneficial for the town of Hounsfield, it’s going to be detrimental for the town of Henderson,” Culkin said.
According to the wind turbine company’s website, the project wouldn’t start until at least 2018.