About 200 people live in the town of Worth and dozens of them showed up to a meeting Tuesday night to confront the town board on a law that many say was passed in secret.
The town has been approached by Avangrid Renewables, the same energy company involved in the Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County.
Avangrid is looking to build a Mad River Wind Farm, which would bring about 90 turbines to the towns of Worth and Redfield.
The town board said in a May meeting that they were still deciding on a law that would make it almost impossible for Avangrid to bring in windmills.
“They had said on the town board that they would table the vote and they weren’t going to make any decisions on this wind law – well, the decision had already been made,” said Jessica Patrzyk, who is in favor of the project.
As it turns out, the law had already passed a month earlier.
“Our town board lied to everybody at that meeting on May 8th,” Patrzyk said. “The decision for the wind law had already been passed on a previous meeting in April when they had also lied and said that they would table the vote and they wouldn’t make any decisions.”
Town supervisor Judith Nichols says it was an accident and she doesn’t know how it happenedand.
“Unbeknownst to other people and me, we didn’t know it got passed,” Nichols said. “I don’t know. I really don’t know who did it.”
“I don’t think it was an accident at all,” Patrzyk said. “How do you accidentally pass a law in your town? You don’t.”
Residents say they’re are upset because they feel like as if they can’t trust their town officials and, they say, the vast majority of the town wants the wind farm project.
Town board members say they will take into consideration what was said Tuesday night and amend a portion of the law that was passed.
Many town members say a portion is not enough.
“There’s much more on this wind law that needs to be amended to be able to make it feasible for this town to be able to have windmills,” Patrzyk said.
Residents say they will form a committee to meet with the board regarding the future of the law.
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