Yates officials were slow to move on survey that confirms public opposition to wind project

Posted 31 December 2015 at 12:00 am


The most recent articles in The Hub were eye opening. The first story on the Town of Yates hiring a law firm and an engineering company as their last piece of business before the new council arrives next week demonstrates the arrogance of the current council.

I wrote questions to the PSC that I was told would be answered by mail from Apex. That did not happen. I asked if the firm of Hodgson Russ had worked with Apex in the past? I asked if Mr. Spitzer had worked with Apex in the past. Mr. John Belson, Yates town supervisor, stated at a public meeting that they had worked with the firm on zoning issues sometime in the past but gave no dates as to when that was. I would like to know if either of the firms hired have done work at sometime with Apex? Did Apex encourage the Council to hire these two firms?

At a Town of Yates meeting in July this year 2015, Mr. Belson stated that his total contact with Apex was a 15-minute meeting. What is strange is that Apex had been operating for more than a year, laying the groundwork including signing leases.

Apex certainly did not keep the Council informed of what they were doing. Large crowds were appearing at Town meetings to get some answers and they got nothing. Not one member of the Council demonstrated any curiosity to what was happening in their jurisdiction. Home rule, what is that? The plan seemed to be, let’s wait until it is too late to stop this project and then we will tell you what we think.

Mr. Bradley is disappointed with the County Legislature and local State and Federal officials for taking a position without consulting with them. I could say, how does that feel? That is exactly how you treated the taxpayer.

The Town of Yates could not read the tea leaves but all of the local officials were getting the message loud and clear. A good example of foot dragging is the survey results just announced. That survey was announced in July or August. The council set up a committee, spent money on an outside firm to develop 10 questions. This took months and wasted money to confirm what three other surveys had already concluded.

Apex would like us not to develop an opinion on this project until it cannot be stopped. The existing Town Board also seems to be committed to this project but is unwilling to say that. This project will forever change the Town of Yates.

When and if the government subsidies stop, the landowners receive no compensation, the town and school district receives no tax money, what will happen to all the wind turbines? Apex will be long gone but someone will be left to declare that they are bankrupt.

I wish the new Town Council good luck and hope they will communicate much better with the people. Thank you.

Ray Watt
Town of Yates