Writer says she knows from personal experience how wind turbines depress property values

Posted 31 January 2018 at 8:09 pm


At a January 29, 2018 Somerset public hearing to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Somerset residents, the town voted unanimously to pass local law revisions to limit noise and height of tall structures.

This, in keeping with the World Health Organization’s guidelines for daytime and nighttime noise, within the one and a quarter mile siting from residents’ homes, and to preserve the rural character of the town of Somerset. The Town Board also chose to follow guidelines of US Fish and Wildlife Service regarding safety of migratory species which frequent the Lake Ontario corridor.

Thank you to the Town of Somerset!

Unfortunately, at this same public hearing one speaker chose to attack me by citing personal financial information, public record about a farm I had owned and sold in Orangeville, NY, in an (albeit unsuccessful) attempt to make his point that property values do not suffer from industrial wind turbines.

I choose here to address Mr. Floyd Koerner’s lack of complete and accurate information regarding the sale of my Wyoming County farm after a wind project there had been erected. He claims I made a substantial profit. He conveniently omitted some salient facts from what I will now supply as the real story.

Coincidentally, in the interests of full disclosure, Mr. Koerner has a signed contract with Apex. Signers with wind developers are aware that the contracts stipulate that leasees will support and promote the industrial wind project even in court, which explains his cheerleading the Apex cause at Somerset’s public hearing. Since 2014, I have been very vocal in my new home of Somerset in relating my experiences with industrial wind and its effects on my Orangeville neighbors, I make a convenient target for Mr. Koerner and for Apex.

I now, once and for all, would like to set the record straight!

Deciding in 1991 to restore a house built in 1863 despite the cost, my husband and I gutted the Orangeville house to the timbers, built an addition, stripped the roof and replaced it with new plywood and shingles. We also added new plumbing, furnace, electrical, and septic. We built a new 30’ by 50’ barn, restored an old barn, and painted others.  We hired someone to rework 30 acres of land, as my horses would have been severely injured on the rough fields.

Mr. Koerner attempted to make the case that in purchasing the property for $55,000 and selling it for $245,000 that I had made a substantial profit. Without the details, it would certainly appear that way, but since he omits mention of those costly improvements, it is meant to mislead.

Well, which is it, Mr. Koerner? You allege that wind farms boost property values. That means my 100-acre farm which brought only $245,000, should have brought $500,000 to $600,000. You proved my point, also illustrated by Michael McCann, a certified 30-year real estate appraiser who has conducted oft-cited studies of plunging real estate values in proximity to industrial wind projects all over the US. Evidently, Mr. Koerner’s figures were the equivalent of shooting himself in the foot.

Mr. Koerner evidently enjoys referencing my farm at public events.  He has brought it up at a Yates Town Board meeting as well. What’s more, my farm was also featured in a color brochure (again, without details) sent out a few years ago by none other than Apex. Maybe it’s time for Mr. Koerner to beat a different drum when he speaks in public forums.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Pictures of renovation upon request!

Cathi Orr