LITTLE VALLEY – Cattaraugus County lawmakers voted Wednesday to join in opposing a proposed transmission line for the proposed Alle-Catt Wind Farm.
Legislators authorized Chairman Howard VanRensselaer, R-Randolph, to file notice of intent with the state Public Service Commission to be a party to the Alle-Catt Article 7 proceeding and to apply for intervenor funding.
Alle-Catt Wind Energy LLC has proposed a $455 million, 340-megawatt wind farm with 117 turbines and towers with a 600-foot tip-to-ground height. The turbines would be located in the tons of Farmersville and Freedom in Cattaraugus County, the towns of Rushford and Centerville in Allegany County and in Arcade in Wyoming County.
The controversial project is opposed by the towns of Farmersville and Freedom. Both have local laws that would prohibit turbines over 450 feet tall from tip to ground and greater setbacks and lower noise levels than Invenergy, the parent company of Alle-Catt Wind, wants.
The county’s intervention is being sought because of its vested interest and to review the need and location of the facility, as well as possible alternate locations. The intervenor funds can be used to assist in hiring expert witnesses and other expenses.
The sponsors of the resolution are Majority Leader Michael Brisky, R-Franklinville; Andrew Burr, R-Gowanda; Richard Helmich, R-Delevan and Ginger Schroder, R-Farmersville, who has been active in opposing the wind project.
Brisky highlighted the need and importance for the resolution, which had not been submitted for committee review and received immediate consideration Wednesday.
The County Legislature has previously indicated it does not want the 600-foot turbines of the Alle-Catt Wind Farm in the county. Lawmakers have asked the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency not to grant tax breaks for large wind projects.
The county Planning Board has opposed the wind farm because it does not represent the character of the county and is a threat to its tourism economy.
The Town of Farmersville is suing the Public Service Commission for ignoring its local law. Alle-Catt, in turn, has filed suit against the Farmersville Town Board and others opposed to the project.
Another resolution approved by county lawmakers provides $135,000 to Directions in Independent Living, Olean, for a Peer-to-Peer Support Pilot Program for veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other combat-related stress disorders.
The program is 100% state funded through the Office of Mental Health.
Legislators also approved a resolution to permit the Department of Aging to serve as fund advisor to the Cattaraugus County/Gene and Charlotte Preston Fund for the Elderly.
The fund was established through the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation from a $218,000 donation. It is designed to provide housing assistance and other needs of the elderly as determined by the Department of the Aging.
Legislators also viewed a short video of interviews of veterans, which were the first ones interviewed under a new program through the Veterans Service Office and the County Museum.
Those interviewed included Veterans Service Officer Steve McCord and Legislators Richard Helmich of Delevan and Norman Marsh of Little Valley. Marsh had asked for $20,000 for the project be included in the 2021 county budget.
Next up are interviews with World War II and Korean War veterans at the Pines Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center at Machias and Olean. The interview videos will available online and at the County Museum. The veterans families will also get a DVD copy of the interviews.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding