ARKWRIGHT – Residents continued their protests of a windmill project that Town of Arkwright officials say will be completed this spring.
On Tuesday, protesters took a stand against the mills in what some would consider to be a heated discussion.
One man cited apparent safety concerns that the project creates.
“From girding cement into the dirt with no fiber mess, how is that green, good for the environment?” he asked.
Arkwright Town Supervisor Frederick Norton attempted to keep order during the public comment session.
Following the meeting, Norton spoke with WNYNewsNow, saying this project dates back to the early 2000s and, at that time, the majority of the town supported the idea.
“We took two surveys from professional pollsters and only around twenty-five percent of the citizens were against the project,” Norton said.
The windmill will generate the town around $325,000 per year.
“We have forty miles of road and around thirty miles of them are dirt.”
Norton said this will substantially increase the town’s revenue going forward.
In total, three windmill projects are in the works in Chautauqua County.
The Towns of Charlotte and Villenova are expected to install farms as well.
Wind farms, or systems of turbines connected to an area’s power grid, can generate significant amounts of clean, renewable power, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The department oversees environmental reviews of wind projects in the state.
Wind farms also fit into the state’s energy plans. In 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo started an initiative called Reforming the Energy Vision, which sets goals such as having 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable resources by 2030.
The Arkwright wind project is already in the installation phase.