Local News

March 16, 2009

Lawsuits, Altona accident end wind power in Beekmantown

BEEKMANTOWN — It's over.

Windhorse Power LLC proposed a 13-turbine wind-power facility in the Town of Beekmantown three years ago, and the Town Council shot it down at their regular meeting Monday night.

Windhorse's project was approved Feb. 1, 2007, by the Beekmantown Zoning Board of Appeals.

Beekmantown residents have spent more than $70,000 in lawsuits against the town Zoning Board and Windhorse.

As a late item on the agenda, Town Councilwoman Sydney Sue Garrant proposed that the conditional-use permit be revoked and the company be subject to the new Wind Facilities Law, passed by the town in September 2008.

Her resolution won three to two, ending the issue with a heated conversation.

"So you have a prepared statement," asked Town Supervisor Dennis Relation in front of a crowd of about 20 people. "I was just unaware."

"I frequently use these late items to bring up things," Garrant said.

Relation asserted that she tried to catch the council unprepared.

"I don't work that way," said Garrant, even toned.

"It sure looks like it," he said.

"You told me once, Dennis, that this was all about dollars and cents," Councilman Samuel Dyer chimed in.

He added that he checked the math with Town Accountant William VanStockum.

"We've spent a hell of a lot more money than we're ever going to receive. I was in favor of the windmills, but the way this was done, I'm not happy," Dyer said, referring to Windhorse Power not acting on their permit for more than two years. Two other companies were looking to cash in on the conditional-use permit March 25 under the names of Duer's Patent LLC and Penn Energy Trust LLC at a Zoning Board meeting.

The Noble Environmental Power accident last week was also a concern.

"Excuse my language, but that thing in Altona scared the s—- out of me," Dyer said, adding that it had changed his mind.

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