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Prattsburgh Testimony

EMINENT DOMAIN:
Do they have what it takes to take what you have? Ask the people in Prattsburgh, NY


On May 21, 2008 nearly 150 people attended a public hearing in Prattsburgh on a proposal for the town to seize the roadway owned by seven residents. The properties are needed for a 100-mile underground electrical cable system for the 36-turbine wind farm being developed by UPC (now “First”) Wind.

Don't believe it? Click here to read more. Or click here to watch a video of residents faced with having their land taken in order to accommodate an industrial wind farm. Or click on each name of those giving testimony to link to video of that testimony.

FROM THE TESTIMONY OF RESIDENT RON IOCONO
When you had the eminent domain hearing April 21st, [I received] a certified letter that was postmarked on the 17th, a Thursday. By the time I received this letter on Monday the 21st I would have had to have driven 350 miles in six hours to attend the hearing. Right now what's taking place in this town affects people all across the United States. Eminent domain is a very serious issue
- nobody's property is safe.

FROM THE TESTIMONY OF EDWARD CERRA
If you think a project of this magnitude is accepted by the residents of Prattsburgh, then why wasn't this put up for a general vote by the residents? The reason is because you all know it never would have passed. A man's land and his home are second only to his family. I hope you realize the Pandora's box you are opening over this eminent domain. The magnitude of the power you are authorizing is beyond expression. Whether you are for the turbines or not, authorizing eminent domain will affect every member of this community.

What's next for eminent domain issues? Gas companies are pounding on our doors as we speak for easement rights. If I say no, they're going to come running to this board and request eminent domain. You do it for one, then the precedent is set for all other corporate giants to hand this board a bauble and get their way.

FROM THE TESTIMONY OF CARL RAYMOND
Was it proper to threaten property owners with eminent domain before the April 22 meeting? Because two of my neighbors were threatened, and eventually did sign easements. One of my neighbors did not cave in, but she was also threatened with eminent domain before it was even discussed in a public hearing. It's a question of ethics, and what's right and what's wrong. And for foreign owned companies to come into this community and tell people they're going to take their land, U.S. property, because of eminent domain, is not right.

FROM THE TESTIMONY OF STEPHANIE LIPP
Prattsburgh is indeed economically and socially depressed. It has been for many years. It's clear that's one of the main reasons members of the board have signed host agreements with industrial wind turbine corporations that promise to bring such growth and positive changes.

If the wind farms are allowed to come here based on eminent domain, it will truly be a miscarriage of justice. The streets of this village will be paved with gold if what [developer] First Wind is promising is true. You have only to look at other communities where they have built, and then left, to know that will not be the case.

I urge everyone who believes this power is clean or green to do your own research. You really don't have to dig very far to see the truth. It's important for all of you to know that many who oppose industrial wind turbines are very committed to the earth and trying to reduce our personal carbon footprints, reducing our consumption, using solar, or photo voltaics, which doesn't hurt your neighbors.

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