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Big turbines, high lake levels concern Yates resident

Posted 17 July 2019 at 3:50 pm

Editor:

If you have property in Niagara or Orleans County and it is located on the south shore of Lake Ontario, you know you have big problems outside your control.

All local government agencies including the Town of Yates, Town of Somerset, Orleans County Legislature and Niagara County Legislature have rejected the Apex bid to install wind turbines spread out over 17 miles. The majority of people in Yates and Somerset have also said no. But Apex keeps moving forward. Is the fix in?

Can an unelected committee override home rule? I think Apex thinks so. Wind turbines are estimated to be 23 percent efficient. They still require to run on fossil fuel when not enough or too much wind, which is 77 percent of the time. Power will be more costly and less reliable.

New York State is pushing the agenda but who does it benefit? Apex the developer will be enriched with subsidies and then sell. The towns will be forever damaged and my sense is that will be fine with the Governor. Creating a problem to solve a problem seems to be counterintuitive.

Mr. Crosby’s recent letter challenging Mr. Simon makes me think he has a hidden agenda as well. No one locally has a better handle concerning the process then Mr. Simon. Anyone who thinks that the turbines will only consume a half acre is missing all the roads needed to service the turbines and what property will be taken to get the power to the grid.

What part of “no” is misunderstood. Environmentalists and conservationists also seem to be having a large say in this matter. The irony is the Sierra Club which was designed to protect wildlife and wilderness appears to approve turbines killing all type of birds including bald eagles. Farmland needs to be protected as well. We all need food.

Regarding the high lake levels, Plan 2014 is a complete failure except for the high water needed for 64,000 acres of marshland. Designed by experts. Really! A recent article in a local newspaper discussed how the high water will save Northern Pike and Muskrats for the eastern end of the Lake.

If you read between the lines, lake levels will remain high or the new normal. The IJC also speaks of new low lake levels but they cannot predict when this will happen. They say it could be next year or more then 10 years away. How does that sit with you?

Ten years of high water and one year of lower levels. They predict water levels and they are wrong and not by a little. IJC predicted shoreline damage estimates, predicted $20 million in 2017 and it turned out to be $100 million.

Plan 1958D worked, Plan 2007 might have worked but did not see the light of day. The IJC needs to find some new experts. The IJC needs to develop some common sense. When you have four Great Lakes sending water to Lake Ontario and Lake Ontario has a dam, what do you expect to happen when more water comes in than can go out.

So common sense would say you need to lower water in fall and early winter in anticipation of spring rainfall or you will always have more water in than out and always have high water. As proof  check out what has happened in 2017 and 2019.

Ray Watt

Town of Yates