BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. – For two hours, residents and elected officials voiced their opinions on the 27 wind turbines planned to be installed in the towns of Windsor and Sanford. That discussion took place during a special meeting called by the Broome County IDA following their decision to reject a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement from Bluestone Wind LLC.
The IDA Executive Director Stacey Duncan says it was officials in Windsor and Sanford who requested the opportunity to address the board. She prefaced the virtual meeting by saying it wasn’t to overturn the board’s decision to reject that agreement, but rather to host an open dialogue about the impact the vote had.
The PILOT would have saved Bluestone Wind LLC over ten million dollars. Town of Windsor Supervisor Carolyn Price says she wanted that agreement to go through because it would have helped move the project forward. She says the construction of the wind farm will bring jobs and money to the area.
“We have residents, of the Town of Windsor, who belong to unions, who are going to do this work… and they will have temporary jobs during construction,” says Price.
Some local landowners also addressed the board, saying they would benefit from the turbines being placed on their property.
“Of course there will be construction. That’s expected. They always say, to plant the seed, you have to turn the ground to get the crops in. Please go forward with this project,” said a resident who runs a dairy farm in Sanford.
On the other side of that, residents in opposition say they fear their property values would decrease due to the wind farm and that it would ruin the landscape, create noise pollution, and harm wildlife.
“People from all over the United States and north of us come here to escape exactly what Bluestone wants to put here,” says Sanford resident Gen Kelly.
Residents who oppose the project say they feel like it was forced on them. The state gave Bluestone the green light despite a local moratorium on wind development. Residents say if that project has to come to Broome, they should have to pay their taxes.
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