Somerset and Yates stay committed in opposition to Lighthouse Wind
There is a new arrival in town. I am referring to the recent appointment by Apex of Mr. Paul Williamson as Development Manager for Lighthouse Wind. The story, however, remains the same. Apex, ignoring the overwhelming local opposition to Lighthouse Wind, has doubled down and recommitted to completing this project in the towns of Somerset and Yates.
Clearly, Apex is relying on Article 10 and the “burdensome clause” contained in it to ram Lighthouse Wind through the Siting Board dominated by Albany Bureaucrats, and thus obtain the authority to industrialize our quiet rural community with up to 70, 600-foot-high wind turbines.
Being ignored are the surveys showing overwhelming public opposition, the hundreds of unanswered comments on the Public Service Commission site, the dozens of organizations with issues relating to Lighthouse Wind, the Power Coalition opposition, the Save Ontario Shores activities, the town’s restrictive industrial wind turbine laws and the numerous negative environmental and physical impacts that will plague our community for generations. The list is practically endless!
The economic and environmental benefits are continually extolled by Ms. Mosley of Apex, yet after more than 4 years of activity in our community we know little more than when Apex first arrived. The inescapable conclusion is, there are no benefits, but very many negatives to Lighthouse Wind.
One thing is sure, over the last 4 years the communities of Yates and Somerset have paid a heavy economic and social price as we attempt to regain the home rule stolen from us under Article 10. Consider the human and capital costs associated with revision of Comprehensive Plans, revision of local laws associated with the siting of Industrial Wind Turbines, the endless series of public meetings and hearings, the met tower applications and their associated activity and subsequent intimidating lawsuit. This list is also practically endless!
We know Apex wants a PILOT as has been stated several times. A PILOT is a tax break, so from the outset Lighthouse Wind wants to get by “on the cheap.” Complete honesty would dictate what is never mentioned, that the PILOT monies will be distributed among 6 taxing jurisdictions thus substantially watering down any benefit. Taxes should be based on the full assessed valuation of the project.
Apex has recommitted itself to Project Lighthouse Wind and likewise we in Somerset and Yates will recommit to what one of our opposition signs so aptly states, “Apex Go Home.” Project Lighthouse Wind is the wrong project in the wrong place being proposed by the wrong company.
Perhaps Mr. Williamson will assist us in sending this message to the home office in Charlottesville, Virginia.
James C. Hoffman