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Prattsburgh wind farm stalls

Construction of energy-producing wind turbines in the town of Prattsburgh is on hold for at least a year.

Prattsburgh officials were notified late last week of the delay by the wind farm developer – First Wind.

“While we remain committed to wind development in the Northeast, we’ve made a strategic decision to postpone construction on the Prattsburgh wind project,” said Chris Swartley, the company’s vice president of development.

Swartley said the company appreciates “the strong community partnership” and will continue to maintain its Prattsburgh office, existing towers and the existing leases now in place with landowners.

The announcement caps a year of trouble for the energy company, which announced last spring construction of 36 turbines in Prattsburgh would begin in the fall.

Since then, a flurry of lawsuits have been filed regarding the project, with the first legal action this year brought in January by the Naples and Prattsbugh central school districts. The districts charged they didn’t receive a fair share of money from a tax relief agreement between First Wind and the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency.

Another lawsuit included challenges to eminent domain proceedings brought by the Prattsburgh Town Board to help First Wind lay underground transmission cables. Also, there have been charges of improper and unethical action by town Supervisor Harold McConnell.

First Wind also is one of two wind farm developers under investigation by the state Attorney General’s office.

Click here to read Mary Perham's entire article in this week's Corning Leader.



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