County To Continue Meeting Tuesday

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego County Legislature will continue its meeting on Tuesday night, following a public hearing on the 2010 budget.

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A public hearing on the 2010 budget will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the County Legislature Chambers in Oswego.

Last week, about six people signed up to speak on the possibility of the county closing the Hannibal Transfer Station in a cost-savings move.

However, the meting recessed before the public comment period was held. It will be conducted at the conclusion of the meeting Tuesday night.

At the start of the meeting last week, legislators approved a resolution to encourage the company planning wind farms on Lake Ontario to run their power lines underwater, not on land.

Public comment was allowed on resolutions of the day.

One member of the public spoke against Upstate Power Corp. proposal.

He said it would mean huge drops in property value and huge impacts on the ecology.

If the cables are stretched across the bottom of the lake, it effectively becomes a barrier for all fish, he said. It puts out a field around it which completely messes up their sense of direction, their sense of hearing and being able to sense where food is, he continued.

That along with the noise of the wind farm itself would disrupt the entire eastern end of Lake Ontario, he said.

One study he’s seen says property next to an individual large wind turbine see a 30 percent or more loss of property value, it took twice as many days to sell the property, the average was a $48,000 decline in the value of the purchase price, and 11 percent were unable to sell the property versus three percent normally, he said.

“There needs to be a serious review of this before they allow these farms to be built out there,” he said. “The loss of that tourism money cannot be made up in taxes. That’s not going to make anybody happy.”

The legislators voted in favor of a joint resolution (with the Jefferson County Legislature) to require a feasibility study for the underwater placement of an electric transmission line from Galloo Island (town of Hounsfield, Jefferson County) to Nine Mile Point (town of Scriba, Oswego County) for the proposed Galloo Island wind power project.

Upstate Power Corp. has proposed constructing a wind power project on Galloo Island and building a 50.6-mile, 230 kV transmission facility that runs underwater approximately 10 miles to Stony Point.

It would then come ashore and be placed on monopole structures, which would enter Oswego County in Sandy Creek and travel through Richland and Mexico where it would interconnect through a proposed substation with existing transmission lines.

The lines would have an adverse effect on the economy in both counties, officials said. That is why they are requesting the study to see if the lines can be placed underwater, said Legislator Shawn Doyle of Pulaski.

Senator Darrell Aubertine as well as Assemblyman Will Barclay are supporting the counties’ efforts, he added.

Underwater cables have been around for more than 100 years on the bottom of the Great Lakes and Atlantic Ocean, and have been proven safe, he pointed out.

“The power line (as proposed) would be a scar going across a very scenic portion of the lower Tug Hill area … it would disrupt wildlife, it would disrupt a lot of property owners’ land and agriculture,” Doyle said. “It would go right through the center of Pulaski.”

The Agricultural Protection Board is also opposed to running the line on land, according to Legislator Barb Brown.

“This whole project has a lot of (negative) impact on agriculture in Oswego County if those lines come ashore,” she said.