Cohocton Wind Watch: Don't sacrifice your quality of life
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Don't sacrifice your quality of life

There is strong evidence to support the claim that wind turbines located within sight or sound of one's property cause that property to lose from 50 to 80 percent of its market value.

Although there have been public comments to the contrary from some Wyoming County elected officials, it is important to state that some of them have signed a land lease agreement with a wind turbine company. In spite of this conflict of interest, these town officials have neither resigned from public office nor recused themselves from issues related to wind energy companies.

Moreover, these town officials do not establish the market value of your property. Property values must ultimately be determined through professional appraisals and, if necessary, appeals. Meanwhile to confirm the obvious, ask a prospective buyer if they would still be interested in purchasing your home after learning that wind turbines will be constructed within the view shed of your property.

Wyoming County landowners who are planning to "escape" the future onslaught of wind farms must be advised that the marketing of potentially encumbered property requires full disclosure; the seller must notify the buyer of any impending change in the physical environment that impacts the property for sale.

Therefore, although there is some financial benefit to a few landowners who have signed lease agreements as well as some suggested by temporary town tax relief, the majority of property owners located within sight or sound of wind turbines will experience a significant devaluation of their property. A necessary re-assessment of such property must follow which will negatively and permanently affect town tax receipts. In addition to an obvious loss of property value, securing a bank loan on encumbered property, be it physical, visual or auditory, will be more difficult and, in some cases, impossible.

As well as their extreme negative impact on the visual and auditory environment, wind turbines are a potential hazard to drinking water sources by contamination through oil leaks from the turbine transformer. Such an incidence has already occurred in the Watertown area when 491 gallons of transformer oil spilled from a wind turbine and entered the aquifer. (Watertown News, Dec. 29, 2007).

(Editor's note: A Dec. 29, 2007, article in the Watertown Daily Times, "Mineral oil taints West Martinsburg well," reported that a July 4, 2007, transformer explosion at Maple Ridge Wind Farm apparently contaminated one residential well, with the state Department of Environmental Conservation saying neighboring wells were not affected.)

Beyond negative environmental impacts and property devaluation, wind turbines are an inefficient and more costly means of generating electricity. According to Professor T. Drennan at Hobart and William Smith College, the cost of wind power generated electricity is 6.37 cents per kilowatt hour compared with 5.57 cents per kwh for nuclear power sources and 4.94 cents per kwh for coal generated electricity. Since production of wind power generated electricity is less efficient and more costly than clean coal or nuclear powered systems, what will happen to our electric bills?

Hyperbole and global warming alarmists have given rise to a highly profitable wind energy industry that is destroying the natural beauty of Wyoming County and devaluing many homes and properties, while costing the American taxpayers an untold number of dollars. This is made possible by federal and state lawmakers who have introduced regulatory and tax schemes which benefit the wind turbine industry through subsidies, tax credits and accelerated depreciation allowances awarded to wind turbine companies. In this time of "bail out" mania, the taxpayers can ill afford to subsidize another inefficient industry.

For these reasons, it is extremely important for all concerned property owners in Wyoming County to be organized and vigilant, to attend and monitor local town board meetings, to demand transparency and accountability from your board members, to have your property professionally appraised and to retain counsel.

Do not sacrifice your quality of life and that of your children as well as your most important financial investment by remaining passive and silent.

Joe Zampogna, Ph.D.



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Risks of Industrial Wind Turbines is a group of citizens and organizations dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life of residents and future generations.