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Legislature debates wind towers; County lawmakers oppose Lake Erie site

The Chautauqua County Legislature opposes the development of offshore wind power in Lake Erie. Legislators passed a motion opposing the New York Power Authority's proposal to develop wind-generating projects in the Great Lakes during its April meeting. The item was one of the last pieces of business on the legislature's agenda during the marathon four-hour long meeting.

MAYVILLE - The Chautauqua County Legislature opposes the development of offshore wind power in Lake Erie.

Legislators passed a motion opposing the New York Power Authority's proposal to develop wind-generating projects in the Great Lakes during its April meeting. The item was one of the last pieces of business on the legislature's agenda during the marathon four-hour long meeting.

The motion was initially sponsored by Dunkirk Democrats Shaun Heenan and Keith Ahlstrom as well as George Borrello, R-Irving. In his comments on the topic, Borrello said he fears the NYPA project will negatively impact property owners along Lake Erie.

"This proposal will definitely have an impact on the property in my legislative district and on all properties along the Lake Erie shoreline, Borrello said.

"The view of the waters of Lake Erie will be overshadowed by the presence of these monstrosities. These giant structures will become the focal point, and the beautiful sunsets that our residents have become accustomed to will become obstructed. There is no way to place them anywhere in Lake Erie where they will be out of view. This will decrease property values in Chautauqua County by millions of dollars."... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

MAYVILLE - The Chautauqua County Legislature opposes the development of offshore wind power in Lake Erie.

Legislators passed a motion opposing the New York Power Authority's proposal to develop wind-generating projects in the Great Lakes during its April meeting. The item was one of the last pieces of business on the legislature's agenda during the marathon four-hour long meeting.

The motion was initially sponsored by Dunkirk Democrats Shaun Heenan and Keith Ahlstrom as well as George Borrello, R-Irving. In his comments on the topic, Borrello said he fears the NYPA project will negatively impact property owners along Lake Erie.

"This proposal will definitely have an impact on the property in my legislative district and on all properties along the Lake Erie shoreline, Borrello said.

"The view of the waters of Lake Erie will be overshadowed by the presence of these monstrosities. These giant structures will become the focal point, and the beautiful sunsets that our residents have become accustomed to will become obstructed. There is no way to place them anywhere in Lake Erie where they will be out of view. This will decrease property values in Chautauqua County by millions of dollars."

Similarly, Heenan feared for the potential cost the turbines could pose to the county.

"There is no research that tells us the impact that these structures will have on the ecology of the lake and how they may impact on the fishing, boating and other activities that generate many tourism dollars for Chautauqua County," Heenan said. "The proposed towers are also within the North American Flyway, and there has been no research done to determine if there will be any impact."

Questioning NYPA's actions, Ahlstrom said the New York Power Authority has a long history of siphoning off the resources of Western New York for the benefit of the downstate area.

"This appears to be another case of Western New York getting all the negative benefits, and NYPA and downstate receiving all of the financial benefit," Ahlstrom said. There are countless other concerns that will come to light with the project, according to the legislators. NYPA's GLOW project could possibly be the first ever offshore windmills in the U.S. and the first in the world in a freshwater setting.

"NYPA has tried to fast track this bidding process and many questions have gone unanswered," Borrello said. "The truth is they have no idea what impact this will have on the ecosystem of the Great Lakes because it's never been done before."

The three legislators are calling on all elected officials, from the local and state level to the federal, to question NYPA on its proposal. Borrello further encourages U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-South Buffalo, to take an active role in the issue.

"Congressman Higgins has dealt with NYPA in the past on issues that affected Erie County," Borrello said. "We need him as our advocate with NYPA on this issue."

In addition to Borrello, Heenan and Ahlstrom, the motion was put to vote at the request of Majority Leader John Runkle, R-Stockton; Bob Scudder, R-Fredonia; Doug Richmond, R-Westfield; Jay Gould, R-Ashville; Dick Babbage, R-Bemus Point; Jerry Park, R-Forestville; Ron Lemon, R-Frewsburg; Mark Tarbrake, R-Jamestown; David Himelein, R-Findley Lake; Bob Stewart, R-Ellington; Larry Barmore, R-Gerry and Legislature Chairman Fred Croscut, R-Sherman.


Source: http://post-journal.com/pag...

MAY 16 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/26279-legislature-debates-wind-towers-county-lawmakers-oppose-lake-erie-site
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