Cohocton Wind Watch: Amish Sign Petitions To Fight Wind Farm Project
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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Friday, September 04, 2009

Amish Sign Petitions To Fight Wind Farm Project


In somewhat of an unusual move, members of the Amish community have joined the debate over a proposed wind farm project in Hammond.

Members of the Swartzentruber Amish sect, by tradition, live a religious but simple life.

They pay taxes but don't vote and usually don't get involved in politics.

But a group of 75 Amish men have signed a petition being circulated by their English neighbors opposing any wind turbine construction in the town.

Joe Swartz has lived on his County Route 1 farm for close to four years.

The Amish man, who declined to speak with 7 News on camera because of his religious beliefs, told us he signed the anti-wind petition because of health and other concerns for his family.

He also said signing such a petition, which was first approved by church elders, does not violate Amish beliefs.

Swartz told 7 News, "I don't think it's good for health."

He also said, "I don't want it close to the house, my children or my land. I don't want to move, but we'll see."

The debate over proposed wind energy development and this local law that is being considered to regulate them has created a deep rift in the Hammond community.

While some see large wind farm developments with massive turbines as beneficial for the town, others say they are against what they describe as the leniency of the town's proposed wind regulations.

A temporary solar operated tower has been put up to collect wind data near Amish landowners near the juncture of County Routes 1 and 6.

Town officials will meet in special session September 8 to revise the industrial wind development regulations with an attorney.

Meanwhile, Joe Swartz and the Amish community are siding with opponents in a fight where battle lines have already been drawn.

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