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Big turbines would deter businesses, residents from coming to Yates

Posted 14 October 2016 at 3:08 pm

Editor:

A concern is now being clearly voiced by Town of Yates residents regarding the potential negative impact of the Lighthouse Wind Industrial Wind Turbine project on economic development in the Town, should this project be approved.

Clearly, Yates is in need of continued and ongoing economic development and it will come from taking advantage of appropriate economic development opportunities as they arise. However, in order to take advantage of these opportunities, Yates needs to be ready to market itself to those that might choose Yates as a place to reside or locate businesses.  The more residents and businesses we can attract to Yates, the healthier the Town is now and into the future.

More residents moving to Yates means a full school enrollment and the need for businesses to service those residents. This is all possible via appropriate economic development. The key phrase here, however, is “appropriate economic development.”

The risks to town growth come from many directions and are very real.  Not the least of which is anything that could upset the delicate balance between agricultural and residential areas, as well as the environment, wildlife and human quality of life.  An economic opportunity that would endanger that balance is simply the wrong economic opportunity.

When considering a Wind Turbine Project as a potential economic opportunity, we need to put ourselves in the shoes of those considering relocating family or business to Yates and ask, “Would I want to live north of Ridge Road and in the Town of Yates, amongst those turbines?

I believe the answer for most potential residents or business owners might be a resounding NO.  The looming view of a wind turbine project as they crest Ridge Road driving north may give them pause.  Whether or not they were for or against wind turbines, they might not choose to buy property or locate their family and/or business in and amongst the Yates turbine field.

Given this scenario, there is a probability that a Wind Turbine Project in the Town of Yates could effectively backstop any significant economic development at Ridge Road. Result: The Town of Yates receives no economic benefit from projects such as Pride Pak in Medina, the STAMP Project in Alabama or others to follow. People won’t move to town, the schools won’t fill up and businesses would see no benefit in initial or increased investment in the Town of Yates.

Economic development would remain unattainable in the Town of Yates and that would be a travesty.

Thank you,

John B. Riggi

Councilman, Town of Yates