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Amherst Island residents say wind turbine construction has led to road closures, ferry delays

Amherst Island residents say wind turbine construction has lead to road closures and ferry delays
Residents of Amherst Island say their quality of life has dramatically changed since a company called Windlectric Inc. starting constructing 26 wind turbines. Residents say the construction has led to poor road conditions, road closures and ferry delays.

Residents living on Amherst Island say their quality of life has dramatically changed in the last few months because of a wind turbine project.

Windlectric Inc., a subsidiary of Algonquin Power, is in the process of constructing 26 wind turbines.

Local resident Janet Grace says it’s been chaos since November and the construction has led to poor road conditions, road closures and ferry delays.

“Terrible roads, terrible shape of roads, road closures when there shouldn’t be road closures, noise, lights on from all hours of the morning,” said Grace. “And there’s no road really that won’t be affected by all this construction.”

READ MORE: Council gives green light to controversial wind turbine project on Amherst Island

Grace says it’s hard for residents to plan their days especially when it comes to the Amherst Island Ferry.

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She says not only are ferries overloaded but in some cases, roads are so congested with construction vehicles that residents aren’t able to make the ferry in time.

Grace adds the company isn’t honouring agreements that were put in place when the deal was inked.

“They’re back stepping a little bit and asking for forgiveness, and asking for, you know, changes to the bylaws but they’ve had 11 years to work on this,” said Grace.

Loyalist Township Mayor Bill Lowry says he’s exhausted and frustrated that promises that were made to the municipality have been broken. He says residents are voicing their concerns to council but their patience is running out.

“How long do we have to take this, how long does the island have to take this? It’s been far too long, we’ve been three months of being out of compliance,” said Lowry.

“I’m in communication last week and this week with the IESO, which is the Independent Electricity System Operations, which are basically responsible for the construction of these energy projects. I’m so frustrated with the province in the fact that they don’t have a ministry that’s coming to our aid.”

In a statement to CKWS News, Windlectric Inc. says in part, “there is an agreed upon Operations Plan that sets out how to best build the project in a way that is minimally disruptive for area residents. Our goal is for all aspects of the project to run smoothly.”

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Lowry says he will continue to put the pressure on IESO and if he has to, he’ll take his complaints to Premier Kathleen Wynne.

READ MORE: The fight against a controversial wind turbine project in Prince Edward County continues