In a virtual meeting on Wednesday, Broome County IDA board members rejected a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) application for a 124-megawatt wind farm facility planned for Eastern Broome.
The IDA board voted down the application from Bluestone Wind LLC five to three. The PILOT would have saved the company around $10 million.
Bluestone plans to install 27 wind turbines in the Town of Windsor and Town of Sanford. The project has been met with opposition from community members, who formed a coalition to combat the project. Opponents say the wind farm is bad for the environment, landscape, wildlife, and creates noise and decreases property values.
Anne Lawrence, a Sanford resident and the chair of Broome County Concerned Residents, says the rejection of the PILOT is a small victory for the group.
“It’s what we’ve been hoping for and what we needed I think,” says Lawrence, who is heads up the coalition formed to combat the project, calling themselves Broome County Concerned Residents (BCCR).
The IDA’s decision comes after Bluestone got a victory last December, when the New York State DEC Siting Board greenlighted the project, despite a moratorium on wind farm construction put in place by Windsor and Sanford governments.
The DEC’s decision is currently being appealed with a joint lawsuit from BCCR and Delaware Otsego Audobon Society.
During Wednesday’s IDA meeting, board members questioned how big the economic advantages of the project would be for the area, noting that Bluestone originally said there would be more jobs created by the project than what they are now estimating. Bluestone Wind is now saying there will likely be two full-time positions created by the project.
Representatives from Bluestone attended the meeting and maintain the wind farm will bring significant revenue to local municipalities and have little to no impact on property values.
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