Resident questions need for MET tower in Yates
I have a year-round home on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in the Town of Yates. I attended the Orleans County Planning Board meeting in Albion on Thursday, April 23, for the purpose of questioning the need for the construction of a 60-meter MET tower by Apex on property that is a half mile from my home.
I also attended the public hearing of the Yates Town Board the week prior to this where I voiced and submitted in writing my objection to the special use permit for this MET tower. To my knowledge, there was no mention at that meeting that the special use permit would have to go before the County Planning Board. It was only by word of mouth that I learned of this.
This news spread quickly the day before the county meeting, and at least 30 members of Save Ontario Shores came together for the purpose of asking questions that so many of us had regarding this tower. It was almost beyond comprehension that we were not allowed to speak.
The presiding chairman of the Planning Board asked those board members present to make a motion to allow questions prior to their decision, which, by the way, had been prepared in advance and was read at the conclusion of the Planning Board vote.
Not one planning board member offered a motion, and thus the group was silenced. To say that I was appalled is an understatement.
I came prepared to ask these questions:
1. Why must another MET tower be erected on Marshall Rd. when there is already one just 3 miles west near Golden Hill State Park?
2. What information can be gathered from a 60-meter MET tower that would pertain to a 570-foot industrial turbine?
3. How will the data secured from this tower be shared with the stakeholders, including those of us who live within the project area?
4. Who is financing the construction of this tower, and how is it funded? Taxpayer $$$?
5. How much money is paid to the landowner of the proposed tower and how much does the Town of Yates receive for permitting this?
One stakeholder, the owner of TigerPaw airport, which is located less than 1/4 mile from the proposed tower was allowed to voice a concern regarding the lighting of the MET tower as it presents a danger to planes taking off and landing at his airport. Yates Councilman, Steve Freeman stated he spoke to “someone from the FAA” that day because he did not know the regulations. No FAA contact name was provided, yet the Planning Board accepted this statement without question.
There are far too many questions that remain unanswered, and I personally believe that the County Planning Board and the Yates Town Board have a huge responsibility for protecting each and every one of their constituents before allowing an out-of-state company to advance in the direction of an industrial wind factory which will forever change our Ontario Lake Shore.