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Learn from history

April 16, 2012

 Published: April 16, 2012

There’s nothing quite like having an industrial wind project proposed for your own backyard to motivate a person to look into the facts — that’s certainly what got me interested. NIMBYism is alive and well and I’ll be the first to admit it. I live in Clarendon with a direct view of Suzie Peak one mile away and while that project is not active at the moment, the Grandpa’s Knob project in West Rutland is being actively pursued.

This project proposes 15 to 20 400-foot turbines. These are not the windmills of 1941 that once existed on Grandpa’s Knob. If you live in West Rutland, Castleton, Hubbardton or Pittsford, you should be paying lots of attention. If you live along Whipple Hollow Road, Fire Hill Road, Markowski Road, East Hubbardton Road, Belgo Road or Monument Hill Road, you should be sitting up real straight in your chairs and paying even more attention.

When a wind developer comes to town, they make promises about reducing property taxes and saving everyone in town lots of money. They promise clean energy and lots of local jobs. The town is immediately divided between those who believe and those who don’t. It’s a scenario that’s been repeated hundreds of times across the country.

That old saying, “those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it” has never been truer. There’s an award winning film called “Windfall” which documents the experience of the small town of Meredith, N.Y., when a wind developer comes to town. It’s scheduled to be shown at the Rutland Free Library on Wednesday, April 18, at 7 p.m., and again at the Castleton Community Center on Friday, April 20, also at 7 p.m. It’s about people who have been there, done that, and it’s especially relevant to our area right now. I highly recommend it.


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