Wind Project Public Hearing Draws Crowd, Many Opposed to the Plan
More than 60 people attended a public hearing in the Town of Solon last night, the hearing was held in connection with a proposed industrial wind farm that is looking to locate here in Cortland County.
Nearly 30 people spoke at the over two hour public hearing, the majority of those speakers were opposed to the Crown City Wind project which calls for the installation of 44, 500 foot tall power generating wind turbines in the Towns of Solon, Truxton, Homer, and Cortlandville.
The project has been in the works since 2007, last night was the public’s first opportunity to comment on the proposal.
Many of the speakers talked about health concerns associated with the project, including impacts on those with compromised health or disabilities.
Solon resident Mike Petrella says while the draft environmental review of this project includes several pages on impacts to wildlife like bats, the study does little to look at the long-term impacts the towers may have on human health.
For those people that actually spent time sifting through the massive draft environmental documents they found the report to be vague and incomplete. Others felt the document does not adequately address potential impacts on agriculture, property values, ice throw from the turbine blades, and impacts on wildlife.
Other opponents said the proposed setbacks for the towers are not sufficient to protect adjoining property owners from potential noise and vibration from the towers.
Several speakers were critical of T-C-I’s proposed mitigation of shadow or flicker effect associated with the turbines, the company suggests installing blinds in homes impacted by the constant shadowing.
Many of those that spoke out said they feel the rural character of their community will be lost if this project is allowed to go forward, some predicted expensive lawsuits against the impacted towns and the developer.
Jerri Duane of Solon says she feels like the developer, T-C-I Renewables is trying to exploit the fact that many of the local property owners are poor and are looking for financial help to cover their bills.
Some speakers questioned T-C-I’s credibility after the company was fined $25 thousand dollars by the State Attorney General’s office for ethics violations.
County Legislative Chair Mike Park who ran the meeting says there are a lot of questions to answer before this project is approved.
Two more public hearings are scheduled for today, one at 2 o’clock at the County office building, another tonight at the Hartnett Elementary school in Truxton. The public comment period runs until July 26th interested residents can submit comments in writing until then.