Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cape Vincent Town Board Member Clif Schneider addresses Richard Chandler, BP project developer.

At the Special meeting at Recreation Park, Tuesday evening Town Board Member  Clif Schneider addressed Richard Chandler, BP project developer.

Clif Schneider: I'm not going to take very long. I just, I want to get an idea, of ah ---how BP decided to come here. And ---they mentioned the comprehensive plan; my question really has to do with the comprehensive plan.

 I think it's important to know ah, back in 2003.  You've heard about the plan--it’s a master plan.  I'm sure you're familiar with that whether you're in Texas or, no matter where you live; it’s kind of a common thing. The intent of that is --- sort of describe the community, what the community interests are, and that kind of thing. Back in 2003, the town and village adopted a comprehensive plan; a master plan for the community-- had to do with the economic growth at that time. It-- actually got started in process in 2000, took a number of years, and by 2003 --- they formally adopted it, they just didn't accept it, but they formally adopted it, it gave it more traction. The interesting thing is in 2003, when they started to do that that was long before ah, wind came around town, long before we had --- even before leases were signed and that type of thing. 

I just want -- I just want to point out, to give you a feel for the kind of community this is.  It’s, ah-- I'm thinking in terms of if BP were going to come here they would be wanting to say, okay, the first thing I wanted to do is see their master plan, and of course I want to talk to some officials. The vision statement for-- in that 2003 plan, was to protect the integrity of Cape Vincent’s small town atmosphere, while allowing for compatible residential growth, econ- commercial growth. So, you can see it was geared toward a small community, a rural community, that type of thing. It went through various parts of ah, the town, and describing the breaking out into different zones. There is an internal section called the agricultural residential section where actually most of your project is scheduled to be developed. And what that plan said back in 2003, before you both came to town, was what they wanted to enhance and, ah -- support was agriculture in that section and it said to develop-- development that has minimum impact on ah, the important resources such as scenic view, vistas, working landscapes and tourism assets, now this is before you guys came to town. It also said what to discourage and it said location of towers, prisons and utility facilities where the facility--- where the impact would have a negative   impact on scenic vistas and tourism assets.  So, I mean you-- it's a quite clear statement.

 The thing I'm interested in, I think a lot of people are, is what, what prompted wind companies to come here when you know this is a small town --- small town atmosphere, you have very  Clear stuff which is saying hey what we really want to do with our agricultural area is leave it alone ,we don't want towers. How could you possibly come in here and ---at that time when you first came in you  had a project of hundred turbines, it was 95 at the time but it’s similar to what you have right now, the equivalent of 140 story buildings in our --in the town that wants to maintain a small atmosphere. How did you come to do that? I mean do you even think that, that really is compatible with the kind of community was described back there in 2003?

Chandler:  That’s--I mean, the question you're asking is of me personally, I-- I was not involved with the original siting of this project and this area.

Clif Schneider: okay, well, let's move ahead to now.

Chandler: Sure.

Clif Schneider: Now come in, you’ve got 100 and ah, 124, which is even more
(Unintelligible), turbines which is even more of an impact. And so, you still, we still have that same vision. That same vision of a small-town, small commercial industry, we also have the same sense about what we want to do with the interior so-- the project you are proposing really is, do you think that's compatible, to the   kind of description we had in that master plan?

Chandler: Ah.

Clif Schneider: Would you say the development you have right here is compatible with a community that wants to maintain a small-town atmosphere?

Chandler: Ah, I do, I do believe the project offers ah, the opportunity to be both compatible with ah, allowing for wind power generation as well as maintaining the ability to continue agricultural activities and a small town feel.
 Again, this is not the first project that we've pursued,  um, there are other small towns across the US  and in New York that have hosted wind turbines sites, ah, have not had ah,detrimental effects, that ah, some may have thought that might  be the case. Ah, we absolutely continue to believe that. Ah, there is great wind resource here in Cape Vincent as you know all too well, you live here; you know the power of wind.  Um, ah, we believe that we offer the opportunity to bring significant environmental and economic benefits to the town, both in the form of leasehold payments as well as ah, any kind ah, of payments we might make   in lieu of taxes.

Clif Schneider:  you know, you indicated – – – – – your discussion about you said you   looked at your own internal controls, you know we ah, took a look at the ----you’re ah, posted website, you’ve got 13 wind farms.
 We to took a look at that-- in terms of internal when I look at those, those wind farms that you have in other words, I found where they were in Colorado, and Texas and what have you.  I did the little Google Earth thing, I was flying over your, your ah, wind farms out there, and internally it looks as though you have the same notion about your plans, I mean internally ah, this, town and this set up and this plan, really is, is in contrast and incompatible with the kinds of things you’ve done everywhere else.

Chandler: UM,

Clif Schneider: I mean, this, this, and you don't have any other place. I've looked at all those things and, and you know you've got miles between turbines and, and ah, homes and residences, you don't have any wind farm where you have it right next to a tourism-based economy to a major area of the, a region in the state that draws tourism. You haven't got anything, so why did you come here?

Chandler: You, we can talk about setbacks that we've used in developing the layout here, from  looking at roadways, looking at ah, residences looking at a, ah, property lines, of parties who are or are not participating in the project. We can talk about all those kinds of details, all of which I again, I reiterate are either at or above our own internal standards and   certainly at or above industry standards for building wind turbine projects. This is both for proposed and operational projects.

Clif Schneider: Okay and I understand that.  You say in a sense that really is compatible but you've also said here, that you're trying to be responsive to what we are putting forward. From my personal point of view it's not compatible, what you propose is not compatible with what this community stands for.

 And I've got one last comment. The advertising, you mentioned the advertising you   know, we have seen these ads, I thought they weren’t very helpful. One thing in particular how can you be pushing the economic deal with the money that’s going to come back to the community?  In all essence that's all based on an assumption that you are going to get a ah, pilot agreement, that really was when we initially set it up--we have a legislator here right here that said in effect that this wasn't to be used in anything else other than Galloo. So you can't really  be talking about any kind of financial stuff particularly--- putting an ad in the paper, talking about financial stuff, when you really haven't even set-- begun the discussion of ah, the arrangements and agreements that are required from all the taxing jurisdictions to do that. So, my suggestion there would be you know lay low on the advertising don't stress anything on economics until you get to the point.  

The other thing is take home the message that this is a small community --- what you got up there is incompatible with what we stand for.


Anonymous said...

Clif, here is my answer to the question he never answered. BP received a phone call from someone who said "BP,we have a sweet deal for you" Now I wonder who could that have been???????????????????????

Anonymous said...

"Clif Schneider: I mean, this, this, and you don't have any other place. I've looked at all those things and, and you know you've got miles between turbines and, and ah, homes and residences, you don't have any wind farm where you have it right next to a tourism-based economy to a major area of the, a region in the state that draws tourism. You haven't got anything, so why did you come here?"


So why did BP come here?

Could it be that Darrell and Friends invited them?

A little fact checking of the dates that they signed leases might provide some insights.

Does the King have any Clothes?