A Historical record of wind development in the Thousand Islands
Saturday, January 5, 2008
January 5, 2008
WIND FARM ADVOCATES PREPARE FOR LYME HEARING
Author: KELLY L. REYNOLDS
TIMES STAFF WRITER
Edition: Both Section: Jefferson
Page: B3 Dateline: THREE MILE BAY
Estimated printed pages: 2
About 30 members of Voters for Wind gathered at the fire hall Friday night to organize the opinions they will share at the town public hearing today and to gather more information on the wind turbine zoning regulations recently drafted by the Lyme Town Council.
Public hearings on the regulations are scheduled for 1 p.m. today and Jan. 12 at the Chaumont Fire Hall, but many residents are still unsure of exactly what the ordinance entails, said Marion Trieste, of Green Energy Outreach Services, based in Saratoga Springs, and a contractor for BP Alternative Energy.
BP Alternative Energy is proposing the Cape Vincent Wind Farm in Cape Vincent and Lyme, with 90 to 140 wind turbines. Lyme's moratorium on wind farm development will be lifted at the end of the month.
"I see people out here on a cold Friday night to hear their questions answered, and I think that's what makes a local government work," Ms. Trieste said. "Tomorrow, they're going to go to the public hearing and be able to talk about things they understand."
Voters for Wind is a citizens group that meets monthly and promotes the wind farm. Much of the discussion at Friday's meeting revolved around the distance turbines would be required to be set back from Lake Ontario and from neighboring property lines, and regulations on the noise level of turbines.
Ms. Trieste said the ordinance calls for turbines to be set back 4,500 feet, or more than five-sixths of a mile, from the lake, which, combined with other setbacks, would leave virtually no space in Lyme for turbines.
"This is the most restrictive ordinance that I've ever seen in the state," she said.
Some people at the meeting wondered why the town would create such restrictive regulations when many residents expressed interest in ample turbine development in a wind power survey circulated in Lyme in the summer.
"The survey shows that a majority is in favor of wind farms," Ms. Trieste said. "If you have that majority, you would expect your Town Council to submit a plan that's far less restrictive than this is."
Guy E. Gosier, a Voters for Wind member, also brought up the positive aspects of placing wind turbines in the town.
"You could bring the town $300,000 and that would cut taxes and it would create 65 jobs," he said.
Ms. Trieste said her goal for the public meetings in the next week is to bring out all residents to voice their opinions.
"It's a great project, and wind is such a great resource," she said. "There are so many misconceptions about wind power that are based on fear and not facts."