Cohocton Wind Watch: Wind tower project on hold
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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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wind tower project on hold

ARKWRIGHT - A bombshell was dropped at the Arkwright Town Board meeting with an announcement by Tom Stebbins, project manager for the Arkwright Summit Wind Project.

He said that Horizon Wind Energy will not begin building turbines in Arkwright next April, as he had earlier indicated.

"We will continue the permitting process and our commitment to the town with regard to this project," he told the town council.

Stebbins said he hopes the building portion of the project can get under way sometime in 2010. The problem with the April start is the historically low wholesale power prices that currently exist in New York state, he explained.

"The economy and the power market in New York is not as attractive as it is in the mid-west and that is where Horizon is committing its turbines," Stebbins said.

He went on to say he is ready to move full-force on the project.

"That is certainly my goal," he said.

Supervisor Fred Norton asked about the PILOT and host agreements that provide revenue to taxing entities and Arkwright.

Stebbins said Horizon is currently negotiating with the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency on the PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes.

In other business, the town board approved a mitigation proposal the Arkwright Summit Wind Project wants to present to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Stebbins said he consulted Norton and town historian Ruth Nichols to arrive at mitigation actions that serve a public historical purpose.

To that end, these actions should benefit the community as a whole and should provide tangible results, Stebbins said.

His proposal includes:

Replicate degraded sections of the historic Christian Cemetery fence project not to exceed $60,000;

Stabilize or restore selected grave markers at the town-owned Christian Cemetery with up to 70 stones to be included with the project not to exceed $20,000;

Stabilize or restore selected grave markers at the town-owned Cowden's Corners Cemetery with up to 35 stones to be included at a cost not to exceed $10,500;

Create a Cemetery Preservation Maintenance Fund to be $10,000.

These mitigation actions will be incorporated if Arkwright ultimately issues the approvals necessary for the project to be constructed and operated.

The agreement will be forwarded to SHPO for approval.

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