In April 2006 we received a friendly letter
from Chris Swartley and the folks at UPC
Wind informing us of their proposal to begin constructing a multi-million
dollar electrical power plant which would cover all of Cohocton's high hills with a
network of at least 41 extremely tall towers, each topped with long rotating blades driving enormous industrial wind turbine generators. Extensive
material was soon posted on their website,*
and residents were encouraged to become acquainted with the proposal and voice
their opinions. Short of seeing a few small yard signs here and there in the
area, most of us who received the letter had little warning that plans for a
wind farm of this magnitude had progressed as far and as rapidly as they have
without significant public participation.
looked over UPC Wind's ever-changing proposals carefully. They're impressive, to
be sure, but the closer
we look at their details the more concerned we've become that we, your neighbors,
are being drawn into a plan that all of us will profoundly regret
if we don't come to our better senses before any of this becomes a reality.
website is a public appeal, especially to our Elected
Officials on the Town Board and Planning Board and those of you who have entered
into provisional lease agreements with the developers, to slow this
whole thing down a bit, take a deep breath and step back together with the rest
of us, and then have a reasonable public discourse about the merits and pitfalls
of going ahead. The consequences are enormous and will effect our community and
its local economy and surrounding landscape profoundly for at least a generation
to come. And no matter what UPC may say, we all know that the developers and
their completed studies can wait while we gather enough information to make a
sound decision together as a united community. Our wind and our hills will still
be here next year; good investors aren't all that hard to find; and if the
window of opportunity for tax breaks and subsidies goes by, then perhaps those
in higher places of authority will have decided that trying to exploit wind
power in the Southern Tier wasn't a very supportable idea to begin with.
be open to what we have to share with you. Talk it over with those who are
closest to you, your spouses and families. Read through our website and
associated links. Ask us questions. We're not complainers who moan and groan
whenever something doesn't go our way. And we certainly don't want to pick a
fight with anyone, point fingers of blame, or do anything that would bring
division to our community. But we also don't want to just sit back and see a
community that we love forge ahead into a future fraught with uncertainty and
significant danger. There are just too many red flags on the field and
unanswered questions to let the game proceed without a referee's whistle
blowing. As Solomon once said,
prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. Others go
blindly on and suffer the consequences."
to Get Involved
We've collected quite a bit of information on our
website already and
encourage you to browse it thoroughly, using the Tabs at the top and Links in the left margin to learn more about the topic
of alternative energy and wind turbines.
constantly upgrading our site as
we receive more helpful material, so please come back often to find what's new.
Along the way we'll try to keep you on top of things in our "Updates"
section, so don't forget to check that out, too. Other ways that you can participate in the public
process and express yourself are listed in our How
to Help section.
Thanks for taking the time to
listen to our appeal!
* The original Cohocton Wind website is mirrored here
and the subsequent Cohocton Wind and new Dutch Hill Wind websites are linked in
the menu at the left. Several links on our site (and most of them on
the Cohocton Wind and Dutch Hill Wind sites) are PDF files that require Adobe Reader to access. If
you don't have Adobe Reader installed on your computer, you can download a free
copy by clicking on the following icon: