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Yates working on objective wind turbine survey

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 October 2015 at 12:00 am

YATES – The Town of Yates continues to work on a survey of town residents about the wind turbine issue in the community, Town Councilman Wes Bradley said today.

Save Ontario Shores, a citizens’ group opposed to large-scale turbines, sent a survey to residents this week. That survey didn’t clearly say which entity was doing the survey.

John Riggi, SOS president, said the organization moved to do the survey because the town effort has been slow.

“One reason we’re doing the survey is because the town hasn’t done anything,” Riggi said this morning.

SOS hired an accounting firm, Lumsden & McCormick LLP of Buffalo, to collect the surveys, collate results and provide the results to the residents of Yates. The surveys are due back Oct. 16 and results will be shared during a 7 p.m. Oct. 19 meeting at White Birch Golf Course.

Bradley said the town has formed a three-person committee to work on the survey. Bradley represents the Town Board, with Taylor Quarles, development manager for Apex, and Richard Pucher, from SOS, all on the committee to form questions and develop a process for the survey. The group meets again on Tuesday.

“It’s inclusive, it’s transparent but it will take some time,” Bradley said today. “The accuracy is more important than the speed.”

His goal is to have a survey with objective results that can be viewed as accurate and unbiased data by the NYS Siting Board, if Apex advances the project with 60 to 68 wind turbines. The Siting Board will give the final say on the project covering Yates and the neighboring Town of Somerset.

“One-sided efforts lack credibility,” Bradley said. “We want a survey that will be viewed as an objective measure by the New York State Siting Board, should we ever get to that point.”

Bradley didn’t want to issue a timetable on the town survey because of the uncertainties with reaching a consensus with three different entities.