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Sounds of "Silence" II

Dave Hunt, we hear you. It's too bad your father and his enthusiastic companions on our Town Board didn't listen to sound reason while this whole project was just an over-hyped sales pitch. We've been documenting the noise problems of industrial wind turbines and UPC ("First") Wind's duplicity in its noise measurements all along. For some historical background, just click the "Noise" link below.

Since Cohocton's turbines went online and began spinning on Lent Hill, we've been keenly aware of the noise(s) they make, even though the 4 turbines near our property are all farther away than the nominal 1500' margin specified by our Local Law. Last month I reported about how they sound when the wind is blowing through the turbines toward our property. Today's report is about how they sound when the wind is blowing the other way, across our property first and then through the turbines.

The noise is like a jet airplane crossing overhead high in the sky, but instead of getting slowly louder and then softer again over a several minute period before fading away entirely, this sound stays at the same level and just keeps going on and on, hour after hour. The "plane" never arrives or leaves, it's just constantly roaring overhead with occasional groaning sounds added when the turbine nacelles turn as the wind shifts. Your mind keeps waiting for the noise to stop, but it doesn't. On the other hand, the aggravating thumping sound heard when the wind is blowing in your direction is barely audible when the wind is going the other way.

There are basically three ways to learn - from your own mistakes, from other people's mistakes, and from discernment and revelation about who can and can't be trusted. Unfortunately, it's too late in Cohocton now to learn from anyone else's mistakes but our own. When enough folks in town wake up to the fact that UPC's project was put over on a well-intentioned but naive rural community by a bunch of profit-minded urban con artists, we may be able to spread the alarm to other communities in the Finger Lakes before it's too late for them. Do you hear me, Wayne?



for this post

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

Hi, I am from an area of PA where we are being surrounded by these windmills. I just came from a meeting where I was trying to find out if our twp. would be paid property tax for the acreage on which these windmills are placed. The newspaper article from a previous meeting stated that in lieu of taxes, the twp. would be paid $1,500 per windmill. That leads me to believe they will not be paying property taxes on this ground. However, a representative of the company said we would be getting taxes plus the $1,500 per windmill. The attorney said you can't tax the windmills. I am very confused as to what is the truth. Can you please give me some information on this matter? I guess the first thing I need to know is if there are any laws governing the taxation of these windmills and if so, at what level - federal, state, or local? Between the prisons,co-generation plants and now all of these windmills our area is a mess. Thank you for any info you may be able to give me. Good luck to you in your fight!

Ann Marie Wycheck

Blogger Bill Says:

Sorry to hear about your situation, Ann Marie, and thanks for writing. Wind companies negotiate so-called PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreements with municipalities, preying on people's sense of good will after they've led a town to think that putting up windmills will be a patriotic and environmentally beneficial way to help the global warming problem. This means they don't pay taxes. They make much smaller "payments in lieu of taxes" and pocket the difference in profits. Any laws that might pertain are very open to the arrangement. Aside from the fact that the windmills actually generate very little usable energy for their cost, the only people who end up making money are the developers and their investors. The local populace pays in the degradation of their property values, tranquility, rural character, and scenic assets. Utility users pay in increased energy costs. And taxpayers pay in subsidies and reduced tax revenues. Most of the money spent in building these industrial projects goes to out of state companies and workers. In fact, a chunk of development money usually ends up in the hands of foreign corporations. Frankly, the whole thing is an enormous scam. Sadly, very few people in general, and even fewer in government, grasp what is going on. Like witless lemmings, they cheerfully run off the cliff and urge the rest of us to follow.

Keep us posted about your progress.

Dr. Bill Morehouse


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