The proposed wind project in the towns of Windsor and Sanford is a bad idea and the town boards ought to be drafting zoning regulations that are in the best interest of all of us not just some of us.
This project was originally slated for offshore, near New York City, closer to where the power is actually needed. Taxpayers on Long Island pushed back so wind developers began seeking softer, easier targets in small, rural community’s upstate, taking advantage of a suffering, depressed local economy and counting on small community leaders that may lack the sophistication and legal understanding to mount any significant challenges.
The truth is that the net economic toll in projects like this are consistent losers for the local economy, local taxpayer and property owners. Developers and suppliers make the most money up front, courtesy of government subsidies and incentives, paid with our tax dollars! After calculating the losses in property values, the negative agricultural impact, suffering tourism, the health implications and the awful aesthetics, these projects pose a health, safety and general welfare problem for everyone and truth-be-told, the net losses are in the millions of dollars beyond the short-term gains.
Our Town Boards have a statutory obligation to protect all of the citizens. Those in leadership positions did just that in Cooperstown, NY, which successfully defeated a wind project in their area. Ask any community that has gone ahead with a wind project if they would do it again and overwhelmingly the answer is no.
The short-term allure of modest lease payments and the unfulfilled promise of abundant power is not a sufficient rationale for allowing this project anywhere near Broome County. Accordingly, we are calling on not only the Towns of Windsor and Sanford to step-up and face their statutory obligations; we are calling on every town and village in Broome County to pass a well-written protective wind ordinance, in anticipation of these projects continuing to propagate.
Imagine dozens of these 500 to 700 feet behemoths, visible from everywhere, stretching up into the sky three times higher that the state office building in downtown Binghamton.
Thank God, we enjoy the concept of home-rule here in New York State, allowing us local control over our own areas. We need to harness this advantage and refuse to allow downstate interests to control our destiny and literally change our landscape. We already supply them with our water, take their trash and afford them our natural beauty and peaceful, wonderful countryside as their weekend and vacation escape.
The beauty, serenity, our way of life, lets not let them take that from us too. We should not and we will not surrender to anyone this place we all call home.