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Yates, Orleans County submit 4 names for Wind Energy Siting Committee

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 December 2015 at 12:00 am

YATES – Four residents of Yates have the town and county support to serve on a committee to determine whether a large-scale wind energy project will be approved for Yates and Somerset.

Yates Town Supervisor John Belson and David Callard, County Legislature chairman, were asked by the state Public Service Commission to nominate four residents to be considered for an ad hoc siting committee.

Somerset and Niagara County also backed four residents for the committee. The state PSC will allow two local residents to be on the seven-member committee. The state will consider the eight people – four from both Yates and Somerset – nominated for the committee and whittle that to two. Ideally, Callard said this afternoon, there would be a local representative for both Yates and Somerset.

Yates and the county were united in submitting the following names for the PSC to consider: Russ Martino (former town supervisor), Cynthia Hellert, Jeffrey Oakes and Glenn Maid (a critic of the wind energy project who was endorsed for the Town Board by the Conservative Party and Save Ontario Shores. Maid didn’t win the election last month.)

“The four are a good balance representing different points of view,” Callard said.

He isn’t sure how the state will determine who is chosen to serve on the siting committee.

Besides the two local representatives on the siting committee, the seven-member group is chaired by the state Department of Public Service and includes the leaders of four other state departments: Department of Environmental Conservation, NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), Empire State Development and the Department of Health.