Monday, March 26, 2012

Prattsburgh says it will not roll over and will not be bullied by Ecogen wind developers.


Prattsburgh against Ecogen appeal, seeks to negotiate  

Credit:  By Mary Perham, Bath Courier, www.steubencourier.com 25 March 2012

The Prattsburgh Town Board on Tuesday counter appealed an attempt by a wind farm developer to overturn an order signed by a state Supreme Court justice.
Ecogen officials did not give a reason for appealing the order, which they originally submitted.

The order – approved by Justice John Ark in February – included a road use agreement written by Ecogen. It also gave the developer 168 days to show “substantial construction.”
Councilman Chuck Shick said the town is challenging Ecogen’s appeal in an attempt to get the developer to negotiate. Ecogen has declined to meet with town officials, including Shick, who is the town’s appointed liaison with the town’s lawyer for the lawsuit.

“That seemed like the only way we have to get them to talk to us,” Shick said. “They sure haven’t responded to any of our other offers to sit down and talk.”

Shick said board members had discussed challenging the judge’s order but agreed to wait until he and Supervisor Lenny McConnell could meet with their attorney, Ed Hourihan.
After Ecogen’s unexpected action Monday, Hourihan advised a counter appeal, Shick said.
The appeals mark another chapter in a long dispute, which erupted about four years ago when residents in the nearby town of Cohocton complained the newly operational First Wind wind farm was noisy.

At the time, the Prattsburgh Town Board was in negotiations with Ecogen, and was divided on the developer’s proposed setbacks. The board considered a moratorium on wind farms to investigate the reports of noise, but withdrew its plans when the developer notified the town the temporary ban would be seen as a hostile move.