Residents from across the Southern Tier gathered at Windsor Middle School on Wednesday for a town meeting discuss their concerns over a proposed wind farm.
Representatives from Calpine corporation, the company behind the project, says they wanted to attend the meeting to help clear the air.
The Bluestone wind farm project calls for a total of 27 wind turbines to be built in Broome County, with 23 in Sanford and four in Windsor.
Calpine Corporation says there are major benefits to the construction of the turbines.
“It’s a renewable resource, it’s a local resource. The jobs that are created for this project, the jobs that are created for this project, the tax revenue from this project,” said Alec Jarvis, the development director for Calpine Corporation.
But some residents say the pros do not outweigh the cons.
“They do not recognize that each turbine effects at least 30 to 40 people and they need to hear the story so that they feel the pain,” said Anne Lawrence, the founder of Broome County Concerned Residents.
“It’s wrong. It is dividing our town which is a lovely lovely town,” said Joanne McGibney from Sanford. “Now, they are viciously fighting each other.”
One major concern for residents is possible health risks due to the sounds the turbines could make.
“Infra-sound has terrible effects on public health. It causes nausea, anxiety, depression,” J.T. Donohue from Windsor.
Representatives from Calpine says they are prepared to prevent those risks.
“We do pre-ambient noise testing prior to the submitting the application so that we can understand what the baseline ambient sound levels are pre-project,” said Jarvis.
Another major concern from some residents is the possible destruction of wildlife and animal habitats.
“We have wintering and migrating golden eagles and these towers are right smack in the middle of the migratory paths,” said Lawrence.
“We need trees for a healthy environment and when you are clearing thousands of acres so that just doesn’t make sense,” said Donohue.
Joanne McGibney, a realtor, says she is concerned about the value of homes dropping due to the project.
“We’ve never had it here, but my 38 years experience tells me when people come here, they come here for the beauty, for the quiet. That’s all going to go away”
Calpine Corporation believes most of the concerns are just misconceptions and the meeting was a chance to get their side of the story.
“The information is there. It’s just the effort that it takes to review all of the information,” said Jarvis.
This meeting may have ended, but Broome County Concerned Residents say the next step is to take their concerns to court in July.
You can see the complete project for yourself on the Bluestone project website.
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