Niagara County Legislature votes ‘yes’ on community control over energy projects

The Niagara County Legislature met for their regular meeting Tuesday night; among the topics, a resolution to change Article 10 with a new rule mandating majority vote within towns and villages that would be impacted by largescale energy projects.

David Godfrey, a 10th District Legislator, commented on the resolution he helped develop, “Again, as we heard from our speakers earlier today, this resolution hopefully gives the voice back to the people.”

10th District Legislator David Godfrey

Additionally, he addressed growing community tensions over this issue,

“This has caused a neighbor-to-neighbor feud.  Our communities are being totally ripped apart with all of this going on, and this legislation; as it says here, is calling for public referendum by the people who are being impacted in the community in which they live.”

Lastly, Godfrey stated, “We need to, once and for all, send a message to Albany that we no longer are going to give up our voice.”

Tom Soto, President of the Opposition to Industrial Solar, was direct with his assessment of this situation when speaking to the legislature before their vote:

“By placing a project within an unplanned area that does not fit with the comprehensive plan causes devastating impacts to surrounding small businesses.  The agricultural tourism businesses, such as wineries, corn mazes, and sunflower fields.  The fishing communities, or our right to farm agricultural community, or in the mixed community that contains all of these businesses.” 

John Soto, President of Opposition to Industrial Solar out of Cambria.

Lastly, he declared to the room, “Placing large wind, solar, nuclear or hydro in someone’s back yard next to a thriving business is unacceptable.”