2010-09-30 / Letters to the Editor

What will a windmill solve?

I have been following this proposed project for some time in the articles published in the Press.

If the town plans on asking residents to vote on a proposal such as this, there should be a clear statement of the costs and benefits. I have not seen any such information in your stories.

Specifically, we should see a statement that demonstrates how the windmill will lower property taxes by providing electricity to the town at a lower cost than it can be obtained from the utility.

Such a demonstration will need to estimate the amount of electricity required, the cost of that electricity from the utility and the details of the cost of the windmill. How much does the windmill cost to begin with? What are the interest costs? What are the annual maintenance costs? How much of the current electrical demand will be met?

What are the risks? If the windmill fails after five years, is it guaranteed by the manufacturer or will we have to buy another windmill? Are there liability or workers compensation exposures that will be assumed by the town? If things go badly for whatever reason, how much do we stand to lose and how much would our taxes rise as a result?

What are the effects of the windmill on the environment? How many Jamestown birds will it kill?

The reporting in the Jamestown Press has not addressed these points, or even provided a link to a report which demonstrates why it is important for the town to be in this business. What problem does this windmill solve?
John Aquino
Jamestown

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