Wind power debate to continue

by Carol Thompson

An accord reached between New York State and the Obama Administration designed to hasten the development of offshore wind projects on the Great Lakes has resulted in the Oswego County Legislature taking up the issue once again.

The agreement revives the massive wind turbine project in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario that the state put on the back burner five months ago. The plan called for 150 offshore wind turbines in Western New York.

With the prospect of offshore wind turbines revived, the legislators fear the wind farms would be a detriment to the county’s fishing and tourism industry.

At issue is home rule legislation, which allows a municipality to make decisions in the best interest of the community.

The Jefferson County Board of Legislators recently passed an opposing resolution citing the lack of any financial benefit to the taxpayers, including any property tax revenue.

The resolution also states that the county does not wish to be the location of an experimental off shore wind turbine project. Environmental concerns were also addressed.

Oswego County legislators were given a copy of the Jefferson County resolution so that lawmakers could consider drafting a similar bill.

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