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Apex’s grant program is diversion from an industrial-size project against rural character of community

Posted 13 April 2020 at 9:09 am

Editor:

Apex Clean Energy recently announced The Heritage Wind Community Grant Program. This is an attempt by Apex own admission to obtain favor and gain support for the proposed Heritage Wind Project in Barre.

This program comes at a curious time that coincides with Apex submittal of the formal application to the Article 10 Siting Board. This is a diversion from the real issue which is to review and respond to the formal application.

Perhaps Apex would like to “Build Healthy Communities, Promote Economic Development, and be Stewards of the Environment.” However many in the townships of Yates and Somerset have seen a different side of Apex, the one exposed in the six-year battle against proposed Lighthouse Wind.

We have seen a company which completely disregards the desires of the general public who have overwhelmingly rejected the proposed Lighthouse Wind, no less than three times in independently conducted surveys, and countless meetings and public hearings.

We have seen a company which disregards the long standing objectives of Town Comprehensive Plans, a key one of which is to “preserve the rural character of our towns.”

We have seen a company that disregards our local laws regarding the siting of Industrial wind turbines and associated equipment. To this day, a meteorological tower still stands in violation of the permitting conditions that Apex agreed to in the original siting decision.

We have seen a company that operates in secret with leases and easements and the associated gag orders and other multiple restrictions.

We have seen a company indifferent to the environment and wildlife as exemplified in the disregard of US Fish & Wildlife recommendations for siting of industrial wind turbines.

We have seen a company that touts their generosity via a proposed PILOT agreement while not acknowledging that a PILOT is a huge tax break that will allow them to get by on the cheap and avoid full local taxation for years to come.

Perhaps the Heritage Wind Community Grant Program will “contribute towards pressing community needs and make a meaningful impact.” One can only hope so. The record says otherwise!

James C. Hoffman

Town of Somerset