Cape Vincent Wind Controversy Takes A Personal Turn
The fight over wind turbines in Cape Vincent is becoming personal.
The long-standing controversy there has historically focused on commercial wind development.
Some people say, however, that their individual plans for green energy are under fire.
Robert Shimp says he's the victim of a town board that invents it's own rules when it comes to wind power.
"They turned to be the real communists of Cape Vincent," he said, referring to the town board and, specifically, town Supervisor Urban Hirschey.
Hirschey sent Shimp a letter telling him to stop work on the single 46-foot wind turbine he is putting up on his property.
The letter says a moratorium on wind-related activities will be issued soon and that his permit for the turbine has been revoked.
"Cape Vincent has it's own set of rules. It's not America here," Shimp said.
Former town board member Marty Mason got a similar letter. He has a permit for a 100-foot tall turbine.
"I don't think this letter they sent me is legal," Mason said. "I don't think Urban can actually stop a project like this."
Alan Wood is the former zoning enforcement officer who was let go earlier this month. He says Hirschey is trying to enforce a rule that doesn't even exist.
"Hasn't even passed!" Wood said, "and how do they know it's going to pass? They seeing into the future or something?"
Hirschey was unavailable for comment.
Shimp has hired a lawyer and says he's not going to stop building his turbine.
"We're not going to stop on this," he said. "We're not gonna stop at all."
A public hearing on the moratorium is set for February 7. Shimp says you can bet he'll be there.
Saturday, May 18, 2013, Watertown, NY
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