April 4th, 2018
FREMONT, NY – A special meeting was held Wednesday evening between the Fremont Town Board and Everpower about Fremont’s possible amendment to their local wind laws. Everpower, who is ready to start a major wind project in the Fremont area called the Barons Wind Project, showed up in full force to protest the possible changes to Fremonts possible changes in their original wind law agreements.
According to the Fremont Town board, issues that have been addressed in amending the current law are road use, number of feet each windmill would be from a dwelling, the impact on cellular phone use and wireless internet connections, and excess noise generated by the windmills.
According to Project Manager Mike Berlin of Everpower, if all of Fremont’s new demands are met, the project will be in jeopardy. Berlin said the new amendments will impact 23 out of the projected 38 turbines, and reduce the suitable land for the turbines from 1,792 acres to 1,054. According to Everpower, if Fremont decides to pass this amendment, only 12% of the original 20% of land original proposed will be suitable for the project. It will also affect 44 land owners in the Fremont area.
Everpower made it a point to stress the loss of an economic benefit to the community if they decide to pull out of the area. Between the Host Community agreement and the Steuben County Pilot agreement, Fremont would lose $1,186,000 in revenue each year, along with temporary and full time jobs, support for area businesses, and lease revenue to participating land owners.
Town Supervisor Emily Murray, along with many of the 50 or so people present for the presentation, say they would like to make the contract a little more community friendly. “You can buy quieter models of turbines, and people in this small community would appreciate it,” said the supervisor, “and this would be a step forward in making it about the community instead of the focus on electricity output.”
When asked about how much time they have to discuss these matters and find common ground, Everpower replied, “Not much.” Everpower has already committed to a 2020 deadline to have the project completed.
A public hearing and vote on the new wind law amendments will be held Tuesday, April 10th at the Fremont Town Hall.