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The death of a beautiful town  

Credit:  Deposit Courier | July 20 | [submitted] ~~

14 July 2022, 1:42 AM Another miserable day and sleepless night thanks to Northland Power, Bluestone Wind LLC, and the Sanford Town Board.

What I see happening to Sanford at the hands of Northland Power is a disgrace. All the empty promises of being a “good neighbor” are apparently forgotten by Northland in their desire to grab everything they can from the Town. They are buying up properties and destroying the ones they can’t buy outright. If you or I wanted to do the things Northland is doing to the Town we would be stopped by zoning, by environmental impacts, or by neighbor objections, but Northland just bulldozes through – literally.

Bluestone, the LLC, created to protect the parent company from legal liability is part of the shell game. They in turn have subcontracted to more companies than I even knew existed in the area. All to make as many people as possible complicit in the destruction of the Town of Sanford. Some are doing it gleefully, laughing all the way to the bank, because it doesn’t bother them. It isn’t their neighborhood getting destroyed. Some of the drivers have become aggressive, probably due to the leadership from the parent company. I was crossing the road the other day and one of the dump truck drivers actually sped up, laughing on the way by. When we complained to the supervisor about a different incident, he asked for a truck number. It’s kind of hard to get a truck number when you’re trying to avoid getting hit by a dump truck. This supervisor also told me I should follow the dump truck to get the number. The supervisor, the one all the literature tells you to report incidents to, doesn’t bother to answer anymore, he just ignores it all.

The former Town of Sanford board could have stopped all of this if they had only taken their oath of office seriously. They swore to protect the people and the property of the Town. They swore to stand up for us, the people, not a corporation. If they had only stuck to their own comprehensive plan for the Town, none of this could have happened. Small businesses have been refused out here, the comprehensive plan used as the reason why. That plan stated that any industrialization was to be kept along Rt. 41 and Rt. 17 and that the “rural character” of the town was to be preserved. The new town board seems to be following in the footsteps of their predecessors, they are willing to let this corporation bulldoze over us.

I don’t know about other roads in the Town as I’m hesitant to leave my property for fear of what might happen while I’m gone, but Farnham isn’t what it once was.

The intersection with Rt. 41 is a nightmare. They have widened the bottom of the road to accommodate their large trucks but have barrels up on the edge of the pavement, eliminating any shoulder and actually making the road more narrow for the rest of us. They have bulldozed and taken away the trees and even the hill at the foot of the road because it was in their way. How many of the old timers remember running off the road across from Mrs. Lee’s place in a snow storm? Sometimes the tracks in the snow went off the road, circled the old apple tree, and made it back onto the road.

They took out what we have called “Mr.s Deacher’s corner” for decades. Before that it was “Moore’s corner”. Mrs. Deacher lost a litter of puppies years ago, they were buried in the woods that is now a road. Their little crosses, made for Mrs. Deacher by my brother, were bulldozed along with a lovely stand of trees, because they were in the way. She would have been heartbroken by this.

The quiet meadow on what the former supervisor loved to refer to as “the last farm in the town” is now an industrial mess. When my granddaughter was smaller we used to take her for rides past the farm to see the animals that used to be there. You could always see cows, horses, chickens, goats, and sometimes, if we were lucky, a peacock or two.

Sky Lake property, used to be a beautiful ride, or walk, on a quiet, tree lined road. It is now scarred by underground power lines and access roads wide enough for a highway. The trees that once shaded the road have all been cut and bulldozed, they were in the way. We often would take that route home from Binghamton to decompress. I can’t even go that way anymore, it’s just too sad.

I’m told that what was once a cornfield on the corner of Farnham and Pazzelli Roads is now another storage site for Bluestone. I used to run or walk past there several times a week. Even if the intruders left right now, the field will never be a cornfield again because of soil compaction. I have memories of running that road and a deer jumping out of the corn in front of me, nearly giving me a heart attack. Once, a wild turkey came out of the corn in front of me, and instead of crossing the road, she looked at me shocked and ran in front of me to the corner looking back every few seconds to see if I was still there.

Now, as they get closer to my property on their way up Farnham Road, I wonder if we are in their way too. I was already threatened by them telling me that they could do anything they wanted 25 feet from the center of the road that runs through our property. Our family has been in Sanford for seven generations. The original family member, Andrew Bryce, once owned what is now the Snyder property on Bryce Road. That farm too is forever ruined with roads running all through it. Andrew’s son, Fred Bryce owned the farm we live on today. Will our land be next to be bulldozed? Is the barn, or even the house in their way? Are my goats safe, my honey bee yard? How in the world are they planning to navigate the Marsh Creek Bridge just past our property? Are they planning to bulldoze through our fields to level out that section of road? How much more are we going to sit back and take?

My question, at 3:00 am (the noise commences again in three hours) is: when will the Town Board do their job and stand up for the people and the town? When will they tell Northland/Bluestone that this is enough and they have to actually be good neighbors or get out. Other towns have done it, why can’t we? Over 300 other towns have said, “ NO!”, this isn’t happening here, why can’t we? Other towns have required wind developers to consider the wishes of the residents (i.e. night time lighting, limited noise at night, etc.), why can’t we? Other towns have allowed a small project in, been bulldozed, and said no more, why can’t we?

Edited to add: I found out this morning (https://www.wbng.com/2022/07/13/turbines-installed-sanford-windsor-wind-farm/) that the tour bus we saw on Farnham yesterday was a group of clueless politicians, patting themselves on the back for what they have done to Sanford. After all, it isn’t in their backyard! I wonder if they noticed the dozens of “No turbine” signs they drove past. I wonder why they didn’t stop and talk to one of us to find out what it is really like living in the middle of this. It must have been lovely to come visit Sanford for a few hours then forget about all the destruction described in this letter. I hope everyone gets registered to vote, and remembers this betrayal in November.

Patrice VanSlyke

Source:  Deposit Courier | July 20 | [submitted]

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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