Tempers Flare During Arkwright Town Meeting As Residents Protest Windmills

Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.

ARKWRIGHT – Residents continued their protests of a windmill project that Town of Arkwright officials say will be completed this spring.

On Tuesday, protesters took a stand against the mills in what some would consider to be a heated discussion.

One man cited apparent safety concerns that the project creates.

“From girding cement into the dirt with no fiber mess, how is that green, good for the environment?” he asked.

Arkwright Town Supervisor Frederick Norton attempted to keep order during the public comment session.

Following the meeting, Norton spoke with WNYNewsNow, saying this project dates back to the early 2000s and, at that time, the majority of the town supported the idea.

“We took two surveys from professional pollsters and only around twenty-five percent of the citizens were against the project,” Norton said.

The windmill will generate the town around $325,000 per year.

“We have forty miles of road and around thirty miles of them are dirt.”

Norton said this will substantially increase the town’s revenue going forward.

In total, three windmill projects are in the works in Chautauqua County.

The Towns of Charlotte and Villenova are expected to install farms as well.

Wind farms, or systems of turbines connected to an area’s power grid, can generate significant amounts of clean, renewable power, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The department oversees environmental reviews of wind projects in the state.

Wind farms also fit into the state’s energy plans. In 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo started an initiative called Reforming the Energy Vision, which sets goals such as having 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable resources by 2030.

The Arkwright wind project is already in the installation phase.

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  1. What Mr. Norton fails to mention is the amount of money certain Board members will be getting as “lease agreement holder’s” the amount will ALOT more then that. Further more if 20% of the residents were opposed to this why was their no more consideration exercised for those folks? are WE no more important? Does that mean that OUR homes and property are unworthy to consider or respect? Does that mean that OUR taxes that WE pay mean nothing? Our we “The 20%” just nothing and no ones, our town board is responsible and elected to look out for the BEST for EVERY SINGLE RESIDENT in the ENTIRE town!! THAT INCLUDES “The 20%’s” opposed PERIOD!

  2. “It is ludicrous that anyone on the Arkwright Town Board including Supervisor Norton question where the dissent to Industrial Turbines (not windmills) was 14 years ago. WE FOUGHT HARD. We hired attorneys. We spent thousands of dollars. We were berated at meetings. We were told to move if we did not like it and we have the video to prove it. We presented research from peer reviewed medical literature on the health dangers of infrasound. We questioned the ridiculous low PILOT (Payment in lieu of taxes) and questioned the future of this town where Turbine lease holders have signed away mineral rights which may eventually lead to fracking. We wrote and voiced our opposition to a plan that would tear apart a great town with great neighbors due to greed of a few and wind company representatives conducting secret meetings with landowners and having them sign non-disclosures to assure silence. We are not the first town to go through this but we did get a moratorium then there was 12 years of silence while the Wind Company was bought and sold and changed names 3 times. How dare you ask where we were. We should be asking what have you done to further your knowledge and do what is best for us, the citizens? Thanks to the Town Board we had no updates. They have been snakes in the grass from day one. Ignorance reigns in this Town Board. We were there 14 years ago. We got your threats. We got the message.” I also remember getting yelled at during a meeting at Forestville school.

  3. It’s unfortunate that those who believe that they know so much prove that they know so little. Had they attended an occasional town board meeting they would have been informed. The law governing the windmills was put in place several years ago, and the windmill company has been working ever since to compile and complete the tests and studies that are required to construct the wind farm. The outcriers claim that there are 10 board members who are on the take. There are only 5 members of the town board!!! The town board is the ONLY governing board for the Arkwright Summit Wind Farm. Also, there is only 1 member of the board that is in the project, whom was elected by the majority of the people in the town of Arkwright after the law was passed!!! He also has to recuse himself from any vote involving the project. So I say know the facts before you embarrass yourself by proving your inability to do research!!!!!

  4. What is wrong with this picture? A rural town of 320 families discovers that 40 amongst them have accepted large sums of money (10% of these are absentee landowners) to lease their land to an industrial operation that will destroy the peaceful quality of life. The 280 families whose property values will plummet, their health, well being and quality of life altered forever – were never officially notified by the town of Arkwright – as a democratic process requires.
    Ten of the town officials: town board, zoning board, planning board, ethics board have signed leases to industrialize this community and will gain from $10,000 to $1million. In addition, their cousins, in-laws, brothers, and sisters are leaseholders. This was published by the NYS Attorney General.
    To make matters worse, if the fair amount allotted the school district was calculated, that district would receive $4,680,000 not $313,600. The county itself allows payment in lieu of taxes further diminishing the money this poor town should receive. Just another foolish town that was taken advantage of as Wall Street speculators simply call payments to Arkwright “chump change”.

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