Anti-wind group in Yates, Somerset shouldn’t meddle with Barre project

Posted 1 November 2019 at 9:05 am


Dear Save Ontario Shores, as a lifetime resident of the town of Barre, I ask that your organization stops meddling in our town’s business. Your fight against wind turbines is not welcome in our town.

In the early days of Heritage Wind, SOS came to one of our board meetings, and our town board let them know they are not welcome. I am curious as to why they continue to insert themselves in Barre, and pay hundreds of dollars for a full page ad in the Pennysaver. Barre does not want to end up like Somerset and Yates.

For those who do not know, Save Ontario Shores had a nasty battle fighting Lighthouse Wind in Somerset and Yates. Let’s talk about how great things are going for those towns. The town of Somerset basked in the glory of a hefty PILOT from their coal plant for many years. That coal plant will be shut down in the next year, and the PILOT has been decreasing drastically over the past few years.

Since 2017, their town taxes have doubled. Instead of inviting new business in to make up for the increasing taxes, the town of Somerset spent $400,000 of taxpayer dollars fighting the wind project.

Now, they are begging the state to give them subsidized money to develop a data center that will cost $65 million to create 165 jobs. Each of those jobs would cost about $515,000 of taxpayer money. The Yates Town Board was so concerned with fighting the wind project that they weren’t able to keep track of their books, and were reprimanded by the state comptroller.

I don’t know about you, but this is not what I want in my town. SOS, please stop trying to involve yourselves in the Heritage Wind project and the town of Barre. Our residents are not interested in your tactics. Your towns will continue collapsing as ours flourishes with the money from Heritage Wind.

Kirk, Alice and Charles Mathes