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Parishville man who will sit on state wind siting board steps down as chairman of Concerned Citizens for Rural Preservation

PARISHVILLE – A Parishville man who will serve as an ad hoc member the New York Siting Board on Electronic Siting and the Environment has stepped down as the chairman of the Concerned Citizens for Rural Preservation (CCRP).

The CCRP is a group of citizens that are opposed to the North Ridge Wind Energy Project that would see around 40 500-foot wind turbines built in Parishville and Hopkinton.

Gary Snell resigned from his post with CCRP Nov. 9. He said he is no longer participating in the group in any capacity so that there is not a conflict of interest.

“It was my decision – I was not forced to resign,” Snell said. “I felt it was the best thing to do after speaking with the attorney for the siting board.”

In an email to members of CCRP Snell says, “In today’s mail I rec’d the official material re. my role as an ad hoc member of the Article 10 siting board.

“After reviewing all the ‘certifications’ that I must sign, and talking to Paul Agresta, (general counsel for the article 10 process) I find I must resign as Chrm. of CCRP and no longer participate as a member.

“Thank you everyone for all of your support in this process – Keep up the good work! Thanks also for all of your hard work! Don’t stop here!”

Snell signed a “Certification Regarding Ownership of Securities” Nov. 10 which certifies that he does not have affiliation with any electric corporations that may have ties to the wind project.

The statement states that Snell cannot “retain or hold any official relation to, or any securities of an electric utility corporation operating in the state or proposed for operation in the state, any affiliate thereof or ay other company, firm, partnership, corporation, association or joint-stock association that may appear before the board.”

Avangrid Renewables, the wind tower company that wants to build wind turbines, had two motions denied to have Snell removed from the siting board. Snell was appointed Aug. 2, but Avangrid claims he should have be determined ineligible due to a conflict of interest.

The siting board oversees the permitting process for power plants of 25 megawatts (MW) or greater. The board has five state-appointed members and two local members. Snell said was nominated by the Town of Parishville and St. Lawrence County. He would represent Parishville and Ernest Parker was chosen to represent Hopkinton.

Attempts to contact the CCRP to find out if they have named a new chairman were unsuccessful.