2010-02-25 / Letters to the Editor

Council should reverse decision

I knew the Jamestown Town Council would screw up their decision on building the wind turbines on Conanicut Island.

This is like the highway barn all over again. Our council 12 or 14 years ago recommended that Jamestown should build a new highway barn, and that it should be a priority over building other projects. More than $300,000 was spent on engineering fees, shop drawings, and buildings and grounds layout.

The council, at the time, asked for volunteers in Jamestown to serve on a committee to investigate the building of a highway barn. There were engineers and other well-qualified people from Jamestown who volunteered their own free time. They spent many hours and weeks looking at highway barns in the state and presented their findings and recommendations to the council.

The council completely ignored their findings. The highway barn was put on hold.

The Town Hall was built first and after the Town Hall was built, a new council over- turned the voters’ selection to build the highway barn at the North End and said it would be built at Taylor Point – and $300,000 or more was lost.

A couple of years ago, the council said we should build wind turbines to save money on electrical fees for town buildings and maybe we can sell electricity back to the grid. The council, like other councils, selected the best people from volunteers to do the job. Like other committees, they spent many nights, weeks and years of their own time investigating the best location for two turbines and the best turbines to generate the electricity to produce the megawatts that would yield the maximum revenue possible.

At the council meeting on Feb. 16, it was like sitting in a kindergarten class. Council members were bickering over other council members’ remarks and one council member pushed the mike away from another council member. The council president denying other council members [the right] to speak.

After $50,000 was spent investigating the best possible wind turbines, the best possible location, and how many turbines to use and what size, the council totally disregarded the Wind Energy Committee’s recommendations.

The council recommended one turbine at Taylor Point. They said a wind turbine at Ft. Getty may upset plans for a renewal plan at Ft. Getty. They said a wind turbine may turn campers away from the campground. I hear all the time that campers are turned away from the campground because it is always full.

These campers are here for four months a year. We taxpayers are here for 12 months a year and we can get all the help we can from selling electricity to relieve our own taxes. There is a wind turbine in Middletown within 350 feet of two nursing homes, John Clarke and Grand Islander. I have talked to people in these nursing homes and they have no complaint. They like to look at the wind turbine.

I think the council should reverse its decision on just one turbine. Two turbines are more economical to build. The town should go after grants for two turbines – one grant from the federal government and one from the state before time runs out.
Don Richardson

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