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Yates resident should be outraged at Apex, not Town Board, for legal costs

Posted 21 April 2018 at 11:31 am

Editor:

In an April 19, 2018 letter to the editor, Mr. Howard Pierce chastises three of the relatively new elected Yates Town Board members for making what he considers an unwise fiscal decision. He is angry that the Town of Yates is going to join forces with the Town of Somerset in the last remaining legal battle against Apex Clean Energy and the Lighthouse Wind Project. I believe his anger should be targeted at Apex and not at our town representatives.

Apex Clean Energy of Charlottesville, Virginia (Virginia still has no industrial wind turbines), snuck into our two towns almost 5 years ago and started signing up lease holders before the general public was even aware they were here. When the general populations of both towns did find out about the proposed project, surveys in both towns were conducted and roughly 67 percent of the populations of both towns were opposed to the Lighthouse Wind Project being built. Despite this fact, Apex still touts that they have “widespread community support.” This translates to mean they have enough leases and land to proceed with at least part of the project.

Apex could have done the honorable thing and cancelled the project after finding out the results of the two town surveys. However, because of Article 10, which takes away our home rule, and the chance of making mega millions of dollars if the project is built, Apex has stuck around. As a result, the two towns have had to pay wind attorney fees for several years, like the ones Mr. Pierce mentioned, to try and prevent Apex from building the Lighthouse Wind Project. No more Apex means no more wind attorney fees.

In closing, I am one of the 10% to 15% of the “lake privileged” but have never complained about unfair high taxes here. I did submit a letter to the Hub awhile back stating I was paying lower taxes in Yates than in my previous location. I also mentioned how the seasonal “lake privileged” keep year-round resident taxes lower.

If 67 percent of Yates has said NO to Apex, and only 10% to 15% are the “lake privileged”, there must be a whole lot of “non-lake privileged” people here who also oppose the project. It is Apex who could have, and still could, save the two towns many thousands of dollars by not proceeding with the Lighthouse Wind Project.

Jim Bansbach

Town of Yates

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