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Herkimer County legislature approves Fairfield wind project

By By RACHEL ANN OUSLEY

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - The results are in!

On Friday, the Herkimer County Legislature held a special session to vote on a PILOT agreement to continue negotiations on the Hardscrabble Wind Project.

The project has been in the planning stage for five years already and on Friday, the proposal passed with 14 votes in favor and only one abstention from Bruce Weakley of Poland. Two legislators were absent from the vote - Helen Rose of Herkimer and Jeffrey Stone of Ilion.

Last month, the Fairfield Town Board unanimously voted to issue a permit to build wind turbines on Hardscrabble Road. The council of Norway has also expressed its approval in the project.

Raymond Smith, Chairman of the Herkimer County Legislature, believes the project is in everyone's interest.

"So, we're not standing in the way of progress," Smith said. "The legislature feels it's the right thing to move forward with the project."

The next step is for the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) to hold a public hearing for final arrangements. After the IDA makes the final agreements, the legislature will need to approve it before the project is officially started.

"I think it's a good thing for the county," Smith said. "It's going to bring quite a bit of new money into the county."

Smith expects nearly $17 million into the county from payments alone, saying construction workers working on the project will stimulate the local economy by staying in motels as well as dining here.

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