Supervisors in Parishville, Hopkinton contact Public Service Dept. over objections with Avangrid tracking log
Town supervisors in Parishville and Hopkinton both questioned Avangrid Renewables most recent Public Involvement Program tracking log update claiming it leaves out meeting dates and misrepresented an incident at a meeting.
The purpose of a PIP tracker is for Avangrid Renewables to demonstrate how they are following through with their public engagement commitments, and to document with specificity their outreach efforts, Paul Copleman, Avangrid communications manager said.
“It is not intended as a mandatory disclosure of all manner of events or discussions related to the development process,” he said. “Rather, it is a tool we use to show the extent to which we’re engaging with stakeholders regarding the project. We feel it’s important to create a running record over several years of outreach with the community.”
Hopkinton Town Supervisor Susan M. Wood wrote the Department of Public Service stating:
“Regarding the filing of the Tracking Log from AvanGrid Renewables, I would like to point out the company misrepresented a working session that was held on February 27, 2018 BY THE Hopkinton Town Board. The company state “it was announced as accepting no public comment; however public comments were accepted from a few individuals.” The only individual that was allowed to speak was a member of the Wind Advisory Board due to a clarification that was needed on a Property Value Guarantee paragraph. I would appreciate the filing of this email on the website to clarify their incorrect perception.”
When asked about Avangrid’s response to Supervisor Wood wishing to explain what happened at the work session, Copleman said, “our view is characterized in the tracker.”
“I only wanted to clarify that this was scheduled as a work session with no public input being allowed,” Wood told North Country This Week. “In discussing a section on the Property Value Guarantee, there was a question that came up and we asked one of the wind board members to clarify. No other input or suggestions were allowed.”
Avangrid plans to build 27 turbines on land in Hopkinton. They previously had plans to build in nearby Parishville, but have since pulled out.
Parishville Town Supervisor claims Avangrid left out meetings related to PILOT versus tax assessment as well as their decision to not include Parishville in the wind farm. Avangrid decided earlier this year not build their wind farm in Parishville.
In his statement to the Department of Public Service, Votra wrote:
“Please note that upon review of the Avangrid (North Ridge Wind Project) PIP tracking filed 03/06/18, it appears as though Avangrid representatives are less than complete with their submission. Most importantly, of the missing information, is Avangrids decision to exclude the Town of Parishville from the proposed project. Also missing are meetings with Avangrid, County Officials, Town Officials (Parishville & Hopkinton) and School District Officials regard discussion of PILOT vs. assessment. I request that you address Avangrid representatives and instruct them to include these events in the PIP tracking report. Thank you for your consideration.”
“The point I was interested in making is that Avangrid is only sharing part of the story and information with the public,” Votra told NCTW. “ Obviously what they want them to hear.
Votra said a resident approach him recently in his office wondering why the board voted no on a wind farm. “The individual expressed that this is what Avangrid (officials) had conveyed to him,” he said. “I appreciate that local people are intelligent enough to come and ask the town’s’ version verses simply accepting Avangrid’s tales.”
Votra said he received a copy of the submission that Parishville would not longer be a host community for the project in the mail about a month after it was publicly announced.
“The town did not chase Avangrid away, they chose to leave, and we found this out the same way and time the public did when they submitted an article suggesting such.”
The supervisor claims to not have had any communication with representatives of Avangrid since last summer.
“The last meeting I was involved with … including the PHCS District, Sue Wood, Legislator Rick Perkins, Avangrid and attorneys for both sides, was in regards to a PILOT verses assessment,” he said. “Parishville and the other three parties mentioned, agreed that we would be seeking the assistance of a professional appraiser (familiar with such projects) prior to our next meeting. I do not believe representatives of Avangrid have been or are acting in good faith, and I caution residents to be aware of what appear to be deceitful tactics by this group.”
The log is posted on State Department of Public Service website and can be viewed at http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterCaseNo=16-f-0268&submit=Search
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