July 18, 2017 – Alle-Catt Wind Farm holds open house at Freedom Highway Department Barn in Sandusky to explain its proposed 117-turbine wind farm to area residents. It would provide power for up to 123,000 homes, $78 million in municipal fees and $64 million for landowners over 20 years.
March 1, 2018 – Alle-Catt Wind Farm, owned by Invenergy, extends deadline for comments on its proposed $570 million wind farm in Farmersville, Freedom, Centerville, Rushford and Arcade. It would generate 340 megawatts of electricity.
March 26, 2018 – A crowd of 50 to 60 people turned out for a public hearing in the town of Freedom to sound off on the proposed Alle-Catt Wind Farm project. Resident Stephanie Milks tells the audience she has retained an attorney to represent a citizens’ group called Freedom United, which is joining with another group Farmersville United in opposition to the wind farm.
June 4, 2018 – The Farmersville Town Board approves tentative changes in its local wind turbine law during a work session, which involves increasing the distance from tower to a residence and decreasing the decibels allowed. After hearing from locals about health and safety concerns, Supervisor Thomas Karcher tells attendees, “We’re going to do some more research” before voting on any revised wind turbine law.
Aug. 22, 2018 – Cattaraugus County lawmakers vote to ask the county Industrial Development Agency not to grant payment in lieu of taxes (P.I.L.O.T) agreements for large wind power projects. Members of Farmersville and Freedom United applaud the action, which is nonbinding on the IDA.
Oct. 18, 2018 – Supporters and opponents of the wind farm fill the Farmersville Fire Hall, both groups wearing personalized green T-shirts that say a lot about their stances. Opponents sport these phrases: “The Only Thing That’s Green About Invenergy Is Its Profits” and “If You Still Think Wind Energy Is Green, Then You Don’t Know The Facts.” Supporters’ shirts show a wind turbine blade and the word “Yes” on the front, while others say “Taxpayers United” on the back.
Nov. 17, 2018 – The state Attorney General’s office increases the number of elected officials in the five towns involved in the Alle-Catt Wind Farm from one to 10. At least one official in each town was listed, except Arcade in Wyoming County.
Dec. 4, 2018 – Jeanie McCarthy of Farmersville asks the Cattaraugus County Board of Health to support additional health studies on the effects of wind turbines. She was particularly concerned about “infrasound,” low frequency sounds emitted by the blades of a turbine, which some health officials say can cause health problems.
Dec. 18, 2018 – Chicago-based Invenergy, the Alle-Catt Wind Farm developer, submits its Article 10 application to the New York State Board of Electric Generation Siting and the Environment.
Jan. 11, 2019 – Farmersville residents voted 195 against the Alle-Catt Wind Farm to 139 in favor and 41 undecided in a town-wide survey of one person per parcel. Supervisor Robert Karcher described the vote as close.
Jan. 15, 2019 – Several members of Farmersville United attend the town board’s public hearing on a proposed new wind law. The board votes to send it to the Cattaraugus County Planning Board for review.
Jan. 30, 2019 – The Cattaraugus County Planning Board rejects the Farmersville wind law because of the height – increased from 450 feet to 600 feet – and because it did not follow the county’s Comprehensive Plan which values the county’s rural characteristics.
DATES TO COME
Feb. 18, 2019 – The Farmersville Town Board will hold its first meeting since the Cattaraugus County Planning Board rejected its wind law amendments. It is set to begin at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall.
Feb. 21, 2019 – Arguments will be heard in the lawsuit by Freedom United against the Freedom Town Board over its approval last year of a similar wind law. The hearing will be held in state Supreme Court in Little Valley.
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