"Just leave our lake alone," said Mary Hosler, (D) Evans town supervisor.
That's the message from Evans town leaders to Diamond Generating Corporation looking to place up to 50 wind turbines along Sturgeon Point off Lake Erie.
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- Leaders against the project list several concerns
- Town of Arkwright generating $340,000 from wind summit
Hosler says while she has no jurisdiction over the lake, she and others strongly oppose the project.
"We manage 12 miles of the shoreline through the town of Evans. If we don't take care of it, nobody else will," said Hosler.
Hosler says the turbines could leak oil, pose a threat to border security, as well as the fish habitat, and negatively impact the summer tourism season.
"We have fishing tournaments, we have fishing charters, we have recreational sports on the lake. What would it do and how would it impact a waterfront community. We depend on it," said Hosler.
"The town of Arkwright is an extremely poor town. We have no store, we have no church, we have no traffic light. There's no street lighting," said Larry Ball, (R) Town of Arkwright councilman.
Which is why the rural community let EDP Renewables of Texas build the Arkwright Summit Wind Farm last year, complete with more than 30 turbines.
Leaders say they've received more than $340,000 in revenue, which has allowed them to hire an architect to design a new town hall and reduce property taxes by 8 percent.
"If you would excuse the expression, it's been a windfall. And we're pretty proud of that. I don't think there's any other municipality in the county that could boast that," said Ball.
EDP also repaved roads traveled during the project construction.
Ball says the town also wants to use wind revenue to build a community solar farm as an incentive for new home construction and economic development.
"Which will broaden our tax base and keep our taxes in a stable position," said Ball.
While Ball has not spoken with Hosler, he recommends she continue to educate herself.
And while she has consulted with others in Arkwright, she says the turbines are too loud, cause TV static and will provide no financial benefit to her town.
"So we just have to be vigilant. We may not have power or authority, but we do have a voice and I think we're going to exercise that," said Hosler.
The town is also considering solar projects as it looks to become a climate-smart certified community.