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Meeting called to discuss 2nd Hartsville plan

A second proposal for wind farm development in Hartsville - devised by a group of town residents - will be explained at a meeting early next month.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. April 6 in Arkport Central School's Performing Arts Center. There will be a presentation explaining the proposal and a question-and-answer period, according Steve Dombert, organizer of the informational meeting and member of Hartsville Citizens for Responsible Windfarm Development. Specifics about the project will be announced at the meeting.

The purpose of the meeting, Dombert said via e-mail, is “to allow the public to learn about an alternative wind farm approach that would have a far greater economic benefit to the area and correct some of the problems in the Airtricity plan.”

Airtricity is the Ireland-based wind power company in the process of working out a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement for constructing wind turbines in the Town of Hartsville. The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, which was designated as lead agency for the process by the Hartsville town board, is negotiating the PILOT.

The structure of the proposed public benefit corporation will be outlined at the meeting, Dombert said.

“To summarize, it would operate the wind farm with a view to distribute profits to the taxpayers of the towns,” he said, adding work would begin right... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. April 6 in Arkport Central School's Performing Arts Center. There will be a presentation explaining the proposal and a question-and-answer period, according Steve Dombert, organizer of the informational meeting and member of Hartsville Citizens for Responsible Windfarm Development. Specifics about the project will be announced at the meeting.
 
The purpose of the meeting, Dombert said via e-mail, is “to allow the public to learn about an alternative wind farm approach that would have a far greater economic benefit to the area and correct some of the problems in the Airtricity plan.”
 
Airtricity is the Ireland-based wind power company in the process of working out a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement for constructing wind turbines in the Town of Hartsville. The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, which was designated as lead agency for the process by the Hartsville town board, is negotiating the PILOT.
 
The structure of the proposed public benefit corporation will be outlined at the meeting, Dombert said.
 
“To summarize, it would operate the wind farm with a view to distribute profits to the taxpayers of the towns,” he said, adding work would begin right away if his group's proposal is accepted.
 
Rochester billionaire B. Thomas Golisano has met with Dombert's group and talked about possible economic support for a community-based project. He will be at the April 6 meeting, Dombert said, adding he is getting more involved.
 
“He is excited about the potential for economic development,” Dombert said.
 
Golisano could not be reached for comment at press time.
 
Also set to appear at the meeting is Ed Rechberger, a community wind farm leader from Perry, Dombert said. A “disinterested moderator” will conduct the discussion, he added.
 
At the start of the Hartsville process, the group spoke out against wind farms, but has since changed its stance, pushing for a community-based project. The change was a result of realizing turbines were “coming regardless,” Dombert said, and wanting to find the way it would best benefit the town.
 
“I was always primarily opposed to the manner in which the Hartsville process was conducted,” he said. “There are many perfectly valid concerns about wind farms.
 
“Our proposal makes much more economic impact as compared with the Airtricity plan,” Dombert added. “In fact, the Airtricity plan is not really justifiable in economic terms because the value of the tax concessions far outweighs any economic benefits that would be derived, and in the balance some people will be positively harmed by it.”
 
The community would benefit from millions of dollars in profits expected to be generated a wind power project, Dombert said, adding it would be quite a positive impact for area residents and businesses.
 
“That money would otherwise go to Ireland,” he said.
 
The group's plan also should help prevent property values from declining, Dombert said. As for what's in it for him, he said his main interest is “improving what I think is a sorry outcome for most of the people of Hartsville with Airtricity when it could be much, much better.”
 
Since it benefits a small group of people, Dombert said the current project should never have been approved.
 
“The property rights question is stretched to the breaking point when you consider that the wind farms are heavily subsidized and would not be happening at all without that substantial government intervention,” he said.
 
Addressing a letter to the editor in Tuesday's The Evening Tribune, Dombert said his group did indeed file as a business with the county for the purpose of purchasing political advertisements on the radio.
 
“It is simply for the purpose of attaching a name to our group,” he said. “I don't see it evolving into anything more.
 
“If the community wind farm plan proceeds it will have its own completely new board of trustees, which I expect will be selected by a transparent, fair and careful process, and I hope would include a cross section of our town's best citizens.”


Source: http://www.eveningtribune.c...

MAR 23 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1850-meeting-called-to-discuss-2nd-hartsville-plan
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