Loyalist Township council defers portion of Amherst Island wind project

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Council defers portion of Amherst Island wind project
Concerns over the amount of road alterations in Windlectrics pre-construction plan has prompted Loyalist Township to defer that portion of the project – Sep 19, 2017

Concerns outlined by Loyalist Township staff have led to deferring approval of the pre-construction plan for Windlectric’s wind farm on Amherst Island.

A lengthy report presented at a recent council meeting mentioned problems with the amount of road reconstruction necessary.

Windlectric says three sections of road on Amherst Island, totalling nearly 20 km, need to be redone in order to accommodate the thousands of trips Windlectric estimates its trucks will make over the course of the project.

A group opposed to the wind farm says it’s a direct contradiction to what the company initially said.

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“All the experts came in front of the tribunal, under oath, to say there’s no problem because we’re not going to reconstruct the roads,” Michèle Lelay, President of the Association to Protect Amherst Island said.

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In one case, South Shore would need to be expanded to a width of 45 feet — which means the company would need to build into the water, or encroach on private property.

“We are addressing issues raised by the township when council decided to defer,” Windlectric spokesperson, Alison Holditch said.

“As permitted, we have commenced arbitration to preserve our rights in the event issues raised by the township are not successfully resolved.”

The Association to Protect Amherst Island has long been opposed to the wind farm, a battle that goes back ten years. Their main concerns with it are the effect it could have on the Island’s ecosystem and water supply, as well as the effect the turbines themselves would have on residents.

They’re vowing to use the current situation to, once again, take their fight to Queen’s Park and the Ministry of Environment in order to halt any further construction.

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