BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Thursday, February 28, 2013

In their PIP program, British Petroleum said they were working locally with Trieste Associates and Voters for Wind.

 A letter from a concerned Cape Vincent citizen to the Public Service Commission

Re: Case12-F-0410 Cape Vincent Wind Power

Dear Acting Secretary Cohen:

Recently, the Cape Vincent Town Board told you:

¿Specifically, we would recommend that BP make available to the Siting Board and its staff and the public a list of their leaseholders and individuals with good neighbor agreements, so that we can all better understand the special influence that BP has on those voices that support their efforts.¿

And in the next paragraph said this:

¿Please understand the Town is not suggesting BP's paid supporters should not be heard in the Article 10 process. They should, of course, be heard. However, to better gauge the relative public support for the Cape Vincent project, it is incumbent on the Siting Board and staff to know what proportion of BP's project support is linked to their financial agreements.¿

If you go to the website of the Lyme-Cape Vincent Voters for Wind you will read the following rules for becoming a member:


"We welcome new members. To become a member you must meet the following qualifications for membership: an existing member of Voters For Wind that is in good standing must sponsor prospective members. Each member must complete and sign an application providing contact information. This will be submitted with the application fee at the time of application. Additionally, qualifications for membership include a signed statement committing to publicly support the efforts and the mission of Voters for Wind. Applications for membership will be approved by a majority vote of the members present at a regular meeting of Voters for Wind. Individual membership applications may be rejected if the prospective member has publicly denounced a renewable energy project supported by Voters for Wind as a whole. Upon notification a prospective members acceptance into membership, attendance at the next regular meeting is encouraged."

In their PIP program, British Petroleum said they were working locally with Trieste Associate¿s and Voters for Wind. Voters for Wind was organized with the help of and is under strong advisement by Marion Trieste of Trieste Associates. Voters for Wind membership appears to be mostly BP leaseholders with a few non leaseholders who may possibly be rewarded for their support they give and the work they do for BP's project.

When Voters for Wind comment to the PSC it is possible that they are doing so as a matter of direct financial interest rather than a sincere effort to make you believe that the entire communities of the Lyme and Cape Vincent are supportive of the BP proposal.

Thank you.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Commissioner Aubertine ~ Another scandal at the state fair begs the question: Who will clean it up?

Enough with the cronyism, no-bid contracts and mismanagement of the New York State Fair. It’s time Gov. Andrew Cuomo cleaned house. He could start at the top with Commissioner of Agriculture & Markets Darrel Aubertine, on whose watch the latest scandal happened.[Syracuse.com]

Senator Maziarz at Senate Energy Press Conference

Former Senator Darrel Aubertine stands in the background.

State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine announced Friday that for the first time, state residents may help select the 2013 State Fair theme. Ideas may be submitted via email by March 15 to statefairideas@agriculture.ny.gov. The fair will run from Aug. 22 to Sept. 2.

A Letter from John Droz to the Public Service Commission

Hon. Jaclyn A. Brilling:

Re Matter: 12-02056; Case 12-F-0410

New York State is currently listed as one of the top three worst states to live and do business, in large part to our very high electricity rates.

We need to waste money on allowing wind power in prime tourist areas like the Thousand Islands, like we need a hole in the head. For more job and economic growth, we need affordable, reliable energy, not unreliables like wind energy.

Assuming that global warming is partly attributable to man-made causes, there is zero scientific proof that wind energy has any more than a minuscule effects on CO2 levels. Part of the reason is that there is no such thing as wind energy by itself, as it always requires full-time auxiliary power to be available, which usually gas.

Building gas-fired stations near New York City (where the electricity is needed most), would provide reliable, dispatchable, baseload capacity, that would be cost-effective for all New York State taxpayers and ratepayers. It would actually reduce CO2 emissions (over coal) and prevent the needless environmental degradation, bird & bat carnage, and human health impacts caused by the massive towers associated with antiquated industrial wind facilities.

By spending money and time focusing on trying to make unreliables like wind power a reality, we are wasting limited resources that we could be directing towards a real clean energy future powered by reliable, dispatchable energy sources - like natural gas, mini-nuclear and hydro - that will provide ALL New York citizens with reliable, affordable power, and which will draw jobs to NYS.  

Please read this 2/20/13 letter [http://tinyurl.com/b5ksn4x ... attached] from Senator Maziarz (Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee) applies directly to this case at hand. There is no proven NET technical, economic or environmental benefit from locating industrial wind energy in any part of the Thousand Islands region.

I urge you to educate yourself (e.g. EnergyPresentation.Info) about reliable, economic and dispatchable energy sources of the future, and to stop wasting money on the scam of industrial wind power, which makes New York State an inhospitable place to live and do business.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

John Droz, jr.
Brantingham Lake, NY

Sen. Grassley [R-IA] promises to continue supporting Wind Welfare Tax ~ Production Tax Credit

North American Wind Power posted an exclusive  story about  Senator Grassley's [R-IA]    continued support of Wind Welfare  through the  Production Tax Credit.

Grassley was quoted as saying. 

"I've always said the incentive should exist only until the industry can stand on its own and compete effectively against traditional sources," Grassley says. "That time is coming, and I believe Congress will consider options to responsibly phase out the credit, as the wind industry itself has suggested and proposed."

  Additionally,Grassley  pointed out that there are other issues in the mix, one being the need for more transmission infrastructure ,which may potentially spark an even more controversial debate on transmission siting.

[North American Wind Power]

Judge recommends dismissal of Galloo Island wind farm connection request

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

NYSDEC ~ the operation of this wind power project, as proposed, may result in a

“Take” of one or more endangered or threatened wildlife species

The letter below is from  Region 6 ~ New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to Supervisor T. Reinbeck ,concerning St. Lawrence Wind’s State Environmental Quality Review and  the impact of their proposed project on threatened and endangered species.

Planning Board Chair , and wind lease holder Richard Edsall  had this to say about the letter from  Region 6 ~  of the N Y S D E C
   “These people are like the school janitor, telling the teachers what curriculum to teach.”

January 27, 2009
Town of Cape Vincent
Attn: Thomas K. Reinbeck Supervisor
PO box 915
Cape Vincent, NY 13618
RE:        State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR)
              Proposed Wind Power Project
              St. Lawrence wind power, LLC
              Endangered/Threatened Species

Dear Supervisor Reinbeck and clerk Ingerson:
           This letter is intended to follow up on comments that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) provided in their letters dated March 9 and  June 15,
2007 with regard to their review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared
for the above – reference to project. In that letter DEC pointed out that additional data would be
needed before potential impacts to birds and bats could be meaningfully critiqued. Further
 review of the proposed project with regard to wildlife impacts has led the DEC to conclude that
 the operation of this wind power project, as proposed, may result in a “Take” of one or more endangered or threatened wildlife species, or their habitat as defined by the Environmental
Conservation Law (ECL). “Take” of a fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened
is prohibited without a permit from the NYSDEC issued pursuant to article 11 section 0535 of the

             Therefore you and the project sponsor, Acciona , are advised to include the potential
requirement for and Endangered and Threatened Species Incidental Take Permit in future
planning, review and permitting efforts. Take or Taking means the pursuing, shooting, hunting,
killing, capturing, trapping, soon snaring and netting of any species listed as endangered or
threatened, and all lesser acts such as disturbing, harrying or worrying. Lesser acts also include
harassing, harming, maiming, wounding or collecting any species listed as endangered or
threatened, any act which is likely to cause the death of or injury to any individual member(s) of a
species listed as endangered or threatened, any adverse modification, degradation or
destruction of occupied habitat of any species listed as endangered or threatened, and any
interference with or impairment of essential behaviors of a listed species. In the event that it is
not possible to avoid such impacts, and incidental take permit, as noted above may be required.

Page 2.

         Specific to this project, the occurrence of the Short – eared Owls and (Asio Flammeus) and
Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus)on or adjacent to proposed project locations has been
documented. The Short - eared owl is listed as an endangered species and the Northern Harrier
is listed as threatened in New York Codes, Rules and Regulations Part 182. The Department is
concerned that take of these species may occur from the loss and fragmentation of habitat
utilized by listed species due to the clearing, grading and construction activities.  There is also a
potential for take to occur for the operation of the facility through the collision of listed species
with wind towers and blades and displacement of listed species due to disturbance caused by
the operation and maintenance of the turbines.

           In addition, the take of other listed bird species whose occurrences have not necessarily
been documented within or adjacent to proposed project locations, may result from this project
by virtue of the projects location within the St. Lawrence Plain Grassland Focus Area. This
focus area supports key habitat for grassland bird species Henslow’s sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) (NYSDEC Threatened), Sedge Wren  (Cistothous platensis)
(NYSDEC Threatened) and Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia Longicauda) (NYSDEC Threatened).
Their respective presence/absence relative to the project eared should be evaluated by
comprehensive pre – construction field study and the results of such study used to guide future
project related planning, review and permitting efforts for these species.

                  Finally, to non-bird listed wildlife species have also been associated with the project
area – Blandings turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) (NYDEC Threatened) and Indiana bat ( Myotis
sodalist) (Federal and NYSDEC Endangered). Their presence/absence within the project area
should also be thoroughly assessed by pre – construction field study, to provide a basis to guide
future project related planning, reviewing permitting efforts for these species.

                   If you have questions or need further information regarding Endangered and Threatened Species Incidental Take Permit requirements, please contact our office.


William H a Gordon
Region 6 – Watertown

Video below of planning Board Chair Edsall's critique of DEC region 6


Judge Deals Blow To Galloo Island Wind Farm Project

 Feb 26, 2013 at 3:36 PM EST 
It's another setback for a proposed wind farm on Galloo Island.

Administrative Law Judge Kevin Casutto says there's no public need for a transmission line between the wind farm project and the mainland.[7 fox News]

Link here to read the ruling

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cape Vincent Zoning ~ The Ugly Truth

 The Town of Cape Vincent successfully updated their zoning law and Comprehensive Plan in 2012. 
There are provisions in this law to properly address the siting of industrial wind. 
  BP is attempting to bypass this protective zoning law by pursuing their project through an Article 10, process.

 The establishment of a proper zoning law in Cape Vincent that adequately addresses Industrial wind development has been a long and ugly process...

In early 2006, a secretive wind campaign became open to public scrutiny.
Initially adequate setbacks were a big point of contention.

As the setback, issue heated up Planning Board Chair , and wind lease holder Richard Edsall   began to make public statements  : "If we don't pass a law one way or another, they're still coming. People have already signed contracts."
As the public involvement and discontent grew Mr. Edsall made the following statement, “I arbitrarily make a recommendation to go back to the River Front and Lake Front zones as setbacks.”
When citizens in the community  made it known that they wanted  protective setbacks of 2 miles, Mr. Edsall openly responded by saying, "Two miles would wipe out both projects."

In response to the direction the zoning amendment process was taking , Jefferson County Planner Mike Bourcy expressed his concerns in a fax dated April 7, 2006, ~ writing, “Anytime an amendment to a zoning law is proposed it must be in compliance with a comprehensive plan.
 Article 2, of the proposed amendment, states that the purpose of the amendment is to mitigate potential negative impacts on the Seaway Trail, St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.” “I have not heard anyone on the Committee talk specifically that these impacts are mitigated by the proposed setbacks.
  The discussion has always been who will or will not benefit depending on which setback is used.” 
Bourcy further stated.  I also wanted to point out that you want to be careful saying that an issue will be taken care of during site plan review. If a requirement is not in the Zoning Law, then the Planning Board must have a good basis for requiring it.” “The Town should not depend on the Department of Environmental Conservation requiring a setback from the shore in the area of the AR. (Agricultural Residential) district by the lake.”
Cape Vincent’s comprehensive plan, clearly defines its goals of discouraging commercial development i.e. utilities where the impact would have a negative impact on scenic vistas and tourism assets.”
Two months after these recommendations made by County Planner Bourcy, PB Chairman Edsall wrote a letter June 14, 2006, to the Town Board informing them that the PB had passed a resolution declaring that current zoning is sufficient to regulate wind development in Cape Vincent, and that the Town Board should abandon its efforts to amend current zoning law.
This current law did not include any provisions to adequately address the siting of Industrial wind turbines, other than site plan review process, which gives a great deal of discretionary control to the Planning Board.

 June 15, 2006, Then- Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine wrote a letter to the Town Board as well   urging the lease holding conflicted board members to vote on wind issues,  telling them that it is their duty to vote even though they are conflicted additionally, he stated that governing by referendum (popular vote) is unwise.

 The Aubertine letter was presented at the TB meeting of June 15, 2006,  Subsequently, Supervisor Reinbeck and  Councilman Orvis reversed their stance concerning protective turbine setbacks.

 These setbacks had the  potential to eliminate 12 turbines from Assemblyman Aubertine’s neighborhood. The revised boundary also allowed turbines as close as 1,600 feet from the centerline of Route 12 E.

Supervisor Reinbeck gave the following quote to the Watertown Daily Times as to his reasoning behind his change of course. “There’s been overwhelming support for total use of the AG district, to begin with,” “And furthermore, I see no reason other than visual impacts for anything other than that.” Orvis followed with “I can’t justify taking another 1,000 feet, whether it’s a farmer or just a regular land owner, of their property.”

August 10,2006 the TB moved forward with the adoption of zoning regulations for wind power development and issued a positive declaration that required an environmental impact study to determine the impacts from the new law.

It was discovered that the environmental reviews required would cost $40,000 +.
This cost became an issue at the TB meeting of Aug. 28, 2006, where Councilman Orvis told the board that he was not comfortable spending $40,000 + of the taxpayer’s money to have a State Environmental Quality Review done and end up not having turbines. Supervisor Reinbeck said he felt the same way.

 Supervisor Reinbeck resolved to, “Discontinue the process of amending the Town of Cape Vincent Zoning Law to regulate wind towers.” This resolution followed the recommendations made by Planning Board Chair Richard Edsall in his July 14, 2006 letter to the Town Board .

 Councilmen Marty Mason and Joe Wood abstained from this vote and the resolution did not pass.

Sept. 13, 2006, The Planning Board approved a motion to adopt the Town’s guidelines to regulate wind development.
This quote in the Watertown Times by Supervisor  Reinbeck  demonstrates that he was supportive of  this action carried out by the  Planning Board  "They certainly can't sue us if we don't go through with the zoning amendments," "No one says we have to change our zoning." Mr. Reinbeck said.

This left the town with the option to designate turbines as utilities under the choice of approved uses in the town’s guidelines.
  Acciona submitted an application for a wind power project in Cape Vincent at the PB meeting of Nov. 8, 2006.

 The Planning Board under the tutelage of Chairman Edsall voted unanimously to be lead agency in the State Environmental Quality Review process.

This maneuver would ultimately give the Planning Board complete control over the environmental review process.

The law did not spell out the kind of site plan use for a wind project nor did it prohibit wind development in the river and lake front districts.
To correct this would require an interpretation from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and the adoption of the draft wind law by the Planning Board as a set of guidelines (the draft wind law banned commercial wind development along the waterfront).

The ZBA determined in a 3 to 2 decision on February 2007 that a commercial wind project could be considered a utility as defined in the current zoning law.
This  eliminated the need for any new zoning regulations that might restrict the wind developments, including noise regulations.

ZBA member John Wiley voted in favor of this measure without disclosing his brother had a wind contract thereby creating a conflict of interest.

Wind Power Ethics Group filed suit challenging the ZBA decision to classify turbines as utilities.

The 1000 islands Seaway Valley

is a Natural Wonder of New York State

Comments to the New York Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment

Industrial Turbines in the Viewshed of the 1000 Islands-Seaway Valley.
Feb 25 2013

Honorable Jeffrey Cohen

Regarding: 12-F-041 0 Cape Vincent Wind Power

Dear Acting Secretary Cohen:

Darrel Aubertine's posture on wind is not just a local issue

Last night I did a post concerning a letter that  then - Senator Darrel Aubertine wrote to NYPA President Richard Kessel telling him that he supports the decision made by any New York County or Municipality to oppose wind development. [link to original post ] 

Apparently Darrel Aubertine's posture on wind is not just a local issue .

Wind Power and energy resources has picked up the story linking back to my blog.
[link to the site]

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2010 Darrel Aubertine's Posture on Wind Power

March 10, 2010  
Then - Senator Darrel Aubertine wrote a letter to NYPA President Richard Kessel telling him that he supports the decision made by any New York County or Municipality to oppose wind development.   

Will Mr. Aubertine be sending a letter stating as much to the NY Public Service Commission?

Re: New York power authority Great Lakes wind power initiative.

Dear President Kessel:

 I want to thank you for taking the time to address Jefferson County legislature.
concerning the New York Power Authority's Great Lakes Wind Power Initiative.

As you are no doubt aware, many residents who live along the Eastern and Southern
shore of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, through many local advocacy organizations and their elected representatives, have voiced opposition to this initiative. In addition they have expressed concern that the power authority will move forward with the award of contracts for the construction of wind turbines in spite of these concerns and over the objections of the impacted communities.

These concerns have led to significant anxiety and agitation in advance of the power authority receiving responses to the request for proposals issued under the initiative. It is for this reason I write to express my appreciation of your willingness to address this issue and assure the potentially impacted communities that wind turbines will not be cited in their vicinity without their consent.

Local officials, as the stewards of their communities natural resources and being in the best position to balance the potential positive and negative economic, social, environmental, and other benefits clearly have difficult decisions to make. The fact that they are doing so prior to any projects being announced pursuant to the initiative is an indication of the significant amount of opposition to these potential projects

My position remains as it has been ; if after careful consideration of the potential economic benefits and costs of any wind projects proposed, Jefferson, Oswego or, for that matter, any New York County or municipality opposes the development of wind and ancillary projects, that I support that decision.

Again, I thank you for addressing the concerns of these officials and for making the power authority's position clear that no wind facilities will be cited where they are not wanted.
I look forward to continuing to work with you as we strive in our respective capacities to reduce the cost of providing New Yorkers clean, reliable and abundant power supplies as one way to improve lives and livelihoods in this region and across the state.

 Darrel J Aubertine
State Senator
Original letter

What price do you put on friendship?

 “For four years, a handful of farmers in the district hid a secret that not even a weekly drinks session or years of friendship could drag out. They had covertly opened up their farm gate to wind farm developers, lured by the cash offer of $15,000 for every wind turbine dug into their property — unbeknownst to the mate across the barbed wire fence whose hand they shook most days.”


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Before and After

Before Turbines
 After Turbines


You get sick of being kicked around ~ misinterpreted.

Harold Wiley ~ Privilege of the floor

Town of Cape Vincent Town Board meeting 2/21/13 

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you  tonight.
 As you all know I haven't spoken in months, and you can thank the bloggers for that.  You get sick of being kicked around, misinterpreted.
Having things said that you don't agree with, and make it sound different than it was. Even people begin to believe that. So, I thought  maybe they'd pick on somebody else, but they haven't. It's quieted down a little. So I thought I would at least express my opinion here tonight.

 For you that don't know me, my name is Harold Wiley. I've lived here all my life. Raised my family here, four of my five children live in Cape Vincent. They love Cape Vincent, they love the people in Cape Vincent.

 I'm sorry to see,  to hear,  to know that there's a controversy here in Cape Vincent. Relatives aren't speaking to relatives,  friends aren't speaking to friends, neighbors aren't speaking to neighbors.  I'd like to think I have many friends in Cape Vincent, and have had over the years. It's gonna take more than controversy to negate, and not be friendly with old friends. Everybody's got a right to their own opinion, and their own thoughts.

 I actually blame the town board for this controversy. They're not representing the total people in Cape Vincent. You have a plan. 1a. defeat windmills -- and that's perfectly all right fight them all you can, if you get rid of  them life will go on, and we’ll live here. But my feeling is that at this point in time you have forced BP to go to Article 10.
If you'd a cooperated with them in the beginning – – I think they're gonna come, again that's my feeling.  They're gonna get here,  they're gonna be here. You should have cooperated with them in the beginning. We could of had  em where we want em.
Wind Mill’s would probably be going by now. So you have held them off now for,  two or three I don't how many years.

And you stop and think-- and I think back to the last election. I think the program or the plot was I'm against windmills. I'm running for office in Cape Vincent. That again, got the absentee ballots out, and got the person elected. People didn't know her from, Adam but they knew what they wanted ,and they knew they were gonna to get it, by putting her office.

So again, I blame the town board for the controversy, and I think you can correct it. I think the town board should be the lead agency in talking to BP. They are gonna come. I think you should face that, and realize it.

Fight them right to the end, that’s ok with me .Fight them to the end, but also be looking out for all of the people of Cape Vincent. And find out, and be the lead agency ,and get the most amount out of BP  that we can possibly get.
 There's  gonna be money floating around out there. Reduce our taxes too, help our school system to help the whole community and to bring the community back together at least consider to be thinking about it let people know that you're going to consider, looking into in talking to BP and find out what the advantages and disadvantages are. There's going to be advantages, and the disadvantages are, we don’t want to look at em.
Fight them right to the end, that's fine, but be ready when they come to get all that you can for the people of Cape Vincent.

Now, I could of written all this down and handed it to you, you would  of said thank you, and I wouldn’t of heard from you again. That’s happened many times in the past. I'm glad to hear you speak and say I am gonna get you an answer Jim, we’ll work with you.   
That's great. That's the way it should be for every issue that comes to the town. 
They should have answers and they should tell people what they're thinking, what they're  gonna do, and get things settled ,and work with the people of Cape Vincent not just have one thought in mind. Get rid of windmills. I would ask-- again-- I could have handed out – and you would of said thank you, but I would like to ask if you have any comments about plan B—and willing to negotiate when the time comes? 
 Should be started now. We should have our County legislator Mike Docteur representing all of the people and talking to BP.

 Get the advantages of this, the advantages of what they will do for us. And I think there will be some advantages. I think they are gonna come. I think-- I’d like to hear some comments. (Inaudible).

Clif Schneider: I would Harold, if the time comes, if the state says in effect that they are going to cast aside our laws. We spent a lot of time and effort developing a comprehensive plan, revising that and doing the law,and of course what we’ve said time and time again is that, that law wasn’t put in place just to keep somebody out. That law was put in place to protect people. 

Now, I know for a lot of folks that have leases and are very anxious to have this program here. Of course they have interests but, there are entirely different interests for those people that are non-participants, as well as other individuals. So that law was put in to effect to protect safety, health and also concerns over property values, a whole host of things.

 Now, if BP and the rest of you come in and abide by that, then we've said all along that you abide by those rules that's fine and dandy, but if you do not there's no way that we can as a responsible group cast aside all of the concerns and interests this community should have,  and we should have, for non- participants and other folks that are involved to protect their rights – so I mean if they want to do that when the time comes if the state says in effect we will cast aside – – you can bet your bottom dollar all of us will fight like crazy to get the most of the deal once we've been told they're gonna come here otherwise were going to stand firm in protecting that law.

Harold Wiley: let me ask you what drove BP to go to Article 10 – – – the zoning law. Zoned them right out of the district so to speak. It's too restrictive. They should – – and you wonder why they…

Urban Hirschey: Harold this is not going to be an all-night discussion okay. After the meeting…

Harold Wiley: inaudible --I want to settle this.

Urban Hirschey: after the meeting, if you want to talk...

Harold Wiley: I’ve got a sick daughter in law I got to attend to

Urban Hirschey: I’ve got an office you know where it is

Harold Wiley: yeah okay,

Urban Hirschey: thank you

Wind turbines are affecting people

"It's more expert vs. expert. We're missing the human element,"

By Chris FellMeaford Express
Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hazel Lynn has reviewed the available literature and concluded that industrial wind turbines are affecting people.
Dr. Lynn presented her long-anticipated review of available literature about wind turbines and how they affect people at the Board of Health's regular meeting in Owen Sound on Friday (February 22) morning.[Simco County]

Tell Washington to REJECT Weakening Protections for Eagles!

Tell Secretary Ken Salazar to Not Weaken Protections for Bald and Golden Eagles on His Way Out the Door

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed a rule change that will result in more eagles being killed at wind energy projects. They have proposed providing wind companies permits that would legally allow wind turbines to kill majestic Bald and Golden Eagles throughout the United States for up to 30 years. This irresponsible proposal comes just three years after FWS had concluded long permits could jeopardize the survival of eagles.

ABC is concerned that current Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, is pushing for this controversial rule to be made before he leaves his position in just a few short weeks.

Please join ABC in telling Secretary Salazar to give the President Obama’s new Secretary of Interior time to reject this terrible proposal.

Can't click the link? Copy and paste this URL: http://bit.ly/I0zkZ3

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cape Vincent~ during the privilege of floor, a resident asked questions about water district 6.

 At last Thursday night's town board meeting, during the privilege of floor, Jim Mason asked many questions about water district number 6. One of his concerns was if the rate of $5.10 per gallon was a guaranteed rate, and if the town was taking over the operation and maintenance for the district. Additionally he said he considered the wording in the survey to be threatening in nature. E.g.  voting for this grant will bring the outside users into compliance with the (DEC) and (DOH) regulations and avoid termination of the existing water supply to outside users .

At one point Mason noted that by numbering the survey’s they would not be confidential. He also pointed out that the surveys are numbered into the hundreds when there were only 90 users in the district, suggesting that the survey had been padded.  

Additionally, he had concerns that the survey would be skewed to favor the approval of the grant because the income levels were capped at 150,000, not reflecting an accurate income level for some of the Tibbetts point residents.  

 Mason also questioned the ability of the aging septic tanks in the River District (Tibbetts Point) to accommodate the burden of increased water usage.
In response to Mr. Mason’s questions Supervisor Hirschey asked Matt Cooper to address the audience.
Matt Cooper said that in the past there had been problems getting the project funded.
 At one point in time a USDA Rural Development grant was promised, but because rural development made some financial miscalculations they withdrew their offer.

There were other problems as well, the data used to calculate the income from 2011 survey compared thresholds from the 2000 census without any inflation factor involved resulting in flawed data .

  Recently it came to the attention of the town that several years ago the Village had received notice from the DEC advising them that the outside users do not have a permit from the DEC to supply water to those people. At that time the DEC recommended that the town form a district to encompass these outside users.  This was what led to the decision to include these outside users in district 6. Additionally, including the outside users in water district 6 would make the district more affordable.

 Cooper explained that the figures of  $150,000 plus used for the income survey came straight from the funding agency.  He also told the audience that the survey preparers were responsible for the numbers on the surveys, and that he was not sure where those numbers came from, or how they track the responses, or why there is a discrepancy between the numbers of users versus the number of surveys.   

Town Attorney Mark Gebo spoke up and explained that the original district had 91 tax parcels in it  and when we expanded the properties on the West side of the village it raised the number over 91.
Supervisor Hirschey said he was told by the preparers that they were numbered so they could track who has responded, and who they need to follow up with.
    Adding  that once they compute the results the numbers are removed to protect the identity of the parcel owner.  

 Initially water district 6 was going to have a flat rate applied or  uniform rates throughout the district's, but as things progressed it was proposed to create a two-tier rate structure to account for all those that had existing water that do not require infrastructure.  
A two-tier rate structure was calculated, resulting in a lower rate for those already connected to village water. This would amount to roughly $440 per year under the proposed rate for the lower tier, resulting in a modest increase for the average usage of 150 gallons per day.

Matt Cooper also explained that the state requires that all parcels within a water district be charged something.  Currently the town charges a vacant lot a quarter EDU (equivalent dwelling unit) and no usage charge. If you have a curb stop by your property but you do not have a connection that's a half and EDU.
  Cooper also explained why some people have water and some don't.   At the request of the Town Bernier Carr completed a town wide water district study to determine the financial feasibility of creating new districts.  They looked at costs to construct the lines and available funding , and would it result in an affordable user charge  approximately  600 to 700 dollars a year? Bottom line, the economics drive the development of new water districts.

Below are videos of Mr. Mason asking his questions and Matt Cooper answering Mr. Mason’s questions.

 After the executive session the board reconvened, John Byrne made a motion to hold an informational meeting to ensure that the public stays informed about water district number 6.  All voted in favor and the motion passed.  The informational meeting is scheduled to be held March 19, 2010 at 6:00 Pm pending the availability of Matt Cooper and Bernier and Carr.

Is Land in Cape Vincent With Water taxed at a different rate?

Paul mason asked Matt Cooper if being included in district #6 will increase the value of property.
Mr. Mason said that his agricultural land, his cornfield and hay fields to a depth of 1000; feet are assessed at a higher rate because they are located in Water district #1.

 I was not aware that it made a difference in the rate your land is taxed at if you are in a water district.

But I did notice something that is confusing to me. Water District #2, has three official users

Donny Mason Parcel Tax ID # 40.00-1-43
Wesley Bourcy Tax ID # 49.00-1-11.3
Darrel Aubertine Tax ID # 50.00-1-16

If you look these parcels up in the Jefferson County tax database in the case of both Wesley Bourcy and Donny Mason it states that they have a private source for water.
However, for the parcel owned by Darrel Aubertine it is noted that there is no water source on that property. If Paul Mason is correct should Mr. Aubertine's property be listed as having a private water source? I also wonder about the outside users sharing with district #2 how is there property being assessed.


Cape officials say water district expansion will benefit everybody

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cape Vincent More on Water district #6

A recent story in the Watertown Times covered the issue of the incorporation of outside users into Water district #6. The story primarily covered the discontent voiced by Ron and Jim Mason.   The Mason’s own a house that currently draws water from the Village of Cape although they are outside users   . The following quote in the Times may best characterize the Mason’s position on the matter.

 “They want me to fund Millionaires’ Row — the stretch of $600,000, $700,000 houses on Tibbetts Point Road — and we’ve already got potable water. We don’t need to be included in this water line,” Mr. Mason said.
At tonight’s town board meeting James Mason spoke during the privilege of the floor. Mr. Mason had many questions about water district #6. As a result Supervisor Hirschey asked Matt Cooper of Bernier and Carr to speak. 

    Unfortunately Mr. Mason did not stay to hear what Mr. Cooper had to say. Not only did Matt Cooper answer all of Mr. Mason’s questions, but he also added clarity to an issue raised by Virginia Edsall.

 Mrs. Edsall had addressed the board earlier with her concerns over water district #6 as well.  She stated that she had looked at a letter someone else had received concerning water district #6.  This letter was signed by Supervisor Hirschey and Mayor Maloney.
 She said she had asked Mayor Maloney about it and he claimed to know nothing about it. 

  However, Matt Cooper reported that Mayor Maloney had signed the letter in his presence.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Village of Cape Vincent Writes to the Public Service Commission

 Honorable Jeffrey Cohen

Secretary, NYS Board of Electric Generation Siting and the Environment 3 Empire State Plaza
Albany. New York 12223-1350

Regarding: 12-F-041 0 Cape Vincent Wind Power

Dear Acting Secretary Cohen:

As a designated stakeholder in the proposed BP Wind Turbine project in the Town of Cape Vincent, the Cape Vincent Village Board feels it is our right and civic obligation to share our thoughts on the mechanism (Article X) which BP has chosen to use to facilitate the approval of its project. In 2003. the Town and Village of Cape Vincent passed a Joint Comprehensive Plan which endorsed a vision for both the Town and Village.

In accordance with the periodic review mandated by the 2003 Joint Plan, our Town Board appointed a committee composed of village and town residents to review and update that plan. It should be noted that Village trustee, Pamela Youngs served on that committee. On August 1, 2012. after two public hearings, the Town Board passed the updated Joint Comprehensive Plan, It should be noted that the 2012 Plan has, as its basis, many of the tenets of the original plan. The vision statement of the 2012 Joint Plan. quoted below is based on the original 2003 vision statement.

Cape Vincent is a small-town, rural community with unique scenic, historical and natural resources. We are committed to preserving these essential qualities that make it a desirable place to live, while seeking to improve the local economy by promoting compatible residential and small business growth.

Using the 2012 Joint plan as a guide, the Town then tackled the issue of Zoning in the hopes of revising the Zoning regulations in order to be consistent with the objectives and philosophy of the new Joint Comprehensive Plan. Again, after much hard work and public input and review. the Town passed new Zoning ordinances. At our meeting of August 14, 2012 we the Village Board, unanimously endorsed the 2012 Joint Town and Village Comprehensive Plan.

Based on our support of the 2012 Joint Comprehensive Plan. we feel we need to let the PSC know our feelings vis a vis the Article X process. Although we as individuals may not agree with all parts of the Joint Plan and the Zoning regulations. we acknowledge that these two items were arrived at and approved in a well thought out and democratic manner. We abhor the idea that the state would feel that they would have more insight into what is best fit for the Town and Village of Cape Vincent than do its residents and duly elected officials. These people spent many hours studying the impact of wind turbines. Their goal was not to ban all wind turbines but rather to first and foremost protect the citizens of Cape Vincent and the beauty, character and heritage of our community. While we know we cannot stop the Article X process. we implore you to respect the decisions our elected officials have made concerning our Town and its future.

We, the undersigned, as duly elected Village of Cape Vincent Board members  entreat you to respect our vision for our community and refrain from overriding our carefully researched and well thought out laws that were designed to protect our residents and community.

This is an equal opportunity program , Discrimination is prohibited by federal law 
to file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA,  Director office of civil rights , 1400 Independance Avenue , S.W., Washington DC 20250- 9410, or call (800) 795 3272 (voice) or (202) 720- 6382 (TDD).