Opinion: Wind company towers come down in Parishville, Hopkinton; community remains cautious until all leases canceled
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 11:28 am

To the Editor:

On Friday, September 7, Iberdrola's met towers began to come down. The first tower to be removed was the one located in Parishville at the intersection of the Newton Road and CR 56 (also known as the Allens Falls Road).

The 5-person crew (from Iowa, by the way -- not even a New York-based company) then went to the met tower located on State Route 72 in Hopkinton and did some preliminary work there before moving to the met tower on CR 49 in Hopkinton. That tower was removed in its entirety before the end of the day. By Saturday afternoon, all four towers were down (one in Parishville and three in Hopkinton).

While this was a most welcome sight, many of us remain extremely anxious for all leases to be terminated. This event will truly mark the end of our multi-year nightmare. Unfortunately, instead of leases being cancelled, Iberdrola is continuing to record leases.

In fact, four leases were recorded on August 30, 2018. Lori S. Hickel signed a Wind Option and Wind Energy Lease Agreement on February 1, 2018; Richard Morrow, Kenneth Morrow, James Morrow, Robert Morrow, and Alan Winney signed a Wind Option and Wind Energy Lease Agreement on March 21, 2018; Helen Barney and James Barney signed an Underground Electrical Transmission Line and Associated Road and Access Easement on May 10th; and Richard Eakins signed an Option and Ground Lease Agreement on May 21, 2018.

Typical of Iberdrola, the lag time between lease agreements being signed by landowners and leases being recorded at the county spans months.

In fact, in January of 2017 Scott McDonald (Iberdrola rep) named two other individuals who had signed Wind Option and Wind Energy Lease Agreements that have yet to be recorded. Why? Because everything they do is done under a shroud of secrecy. Why? Because Iberdrola is a very unsavory, dishonest, and underhanded limited liability corporation that does not care that they are continuing to tear our once tranquil communities apart -- all in the name of the almighty dollar.

The sooner these leases are terminated, the sooner our communities can begin to heal. To all other communities -- beware of the false promises of these multi-million dollar solar and wind energy companies -- they are not in the business of helping us, only themselves.

Read one of their "agreements" to lease land or secure a right-of-way for transmission lines. Better yet, read one of their "Hopkinton Wind Project Neighbor Agreements." These contracts are designed for one purpose, and one purpose only...to protect Iberdrola.

Lori Witherell

Parishville