2010-02-04 / Letters to the Editor

Ft. Getty is a good site for turbine

Thanks for your editorial in the Jan. 28 edition about siting wind turbines in Jamestown.

I appreciate your fair summation of the decisionmaking process and, of course, I understand that as an editorial, you are presenting your own views. But I would like to answer some of your concerns about placing a turbine at Ft. Getty.

After participating in the discussions of the Wind Energy Committee, I believe that a wind turbine, large as it may be, would be completely compatible with the other uses, present and planned, for this island park and summer trailer camping site. The base of the wind tower would be only some 20-odd feet in diameter, so it would not physically displace any other activities.

Noise from the turbine machinery and blades – even immediately below the tower, according to the study commissioned by the committee – would be less than the town regulations for noise in residential and open space night hours. If you were to sit alone on the rocks nearby, looking for complete quiet and solitude, you would probably hear the turbine. But in a busy trailer camping area, with kids riding bicycles and a TV playing in the camper next door, the turbine noise would not be noticeable.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and some people will not like the looks of a turbine. But many people do, and although Ft. Getty might lose some campers because of the turbine sited nearby, it is possible that the turbine would make the park even more popular with summer campers. As for a sailing school and a new pavilion, both of which the town is considering for Ft. Getty, I don’t believe that these uses would be constrained in any way by a turbine.

I agree that Dutch Island may be Jamestown’s best site for a turbine(s). But using that site would require negotiations with the state and a change of zoning. Ft. Getty is a good place for Jamestown to erect a wind turbine in Jamestown in 2010.
William W. Smith III
Wind Energy Committee

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