MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County Legislature approved a resolution requesting the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency not to approve further PILOT agreements for wind energy projects larger than five megawatts rated-capacity Wednesday night.
In the public comment period, several individuals thanked the legislature for approving the measure, as they also spoke out against wind farm projects. One area resident said if the county could do anything to help in Arkwright, it would not only be appreciated, but would be viewed as a “godsend.”
After the meeting, County Executive George Borrello said the IDA is a separate entity from the county, and is technically an entity of the state. While the county has the ability to appoint members to the board and the CEO of the IDA, the county does not have authority to control what they can do.
“We do not have the ability to mandate policy,” Borrello said.
“That being said, this body is certainly sending this recommendation, and I fully expect the IDA board to follow that recommendation.”
Borrello said he feels badly for the people who are living in areas that are dealing with wind farm project construction right now, such as those who live in Arkwright.
“It looks horrible in Arkwright right now, this formally beautiful, pristine woodland community is now really looking like a landfill to be honest with you,” Borrello said. “My hope is they will be able to repair and restore the infrastructure. Ultimately, those wind turbines are going to be a detriment and a blot on our community.”
Borrello said the turbines don’t deliver the promised energy, and “would not exist without government subsidy.”
The legislature also approved a change to administrative code that would allow six coroners, up from the current four coroners. Borrello said there has been some issues with coroners being able to respond when requested, so the added positions would be helpful. The legislature also approved a move to pay coroners on a case-by-case basis instead of a daily flat rate.
Borrello said there isn’t a concern about the cost at this point.
“At this point, the need is great enough,” he said. “We’ll see what happens going forward.”
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