Herkimer County Legislator: "I'll fight for windmills after I leave office"

By Laurie Benedict

An outgoing Herkimer County legislator is calling on his former colleagues to push the windmill projects, and get a deal done.

Gary Jackson says he took a big interest in the windmill projects this past year and made a really big push for them this past month. Just because he is leaving doesn't mean he won’t be involved in the process after the years end.

Last week the Herkimer County Board of Legislators took a step forward in the Town of Fairfield windmill project, that project is just one of 3 possible in Herkimer County and now seems to be the one where a deal is mostly to get done.

Gary Jackson will be leaving the board at the turn of the year, but says he will stay active in the process to try and get windmills in Herkimer County. Jackson says if the developer walks, they take a $200 million project with it.

He says about $90 million is set to be spent in Herkimer County with construction and the addition of jobs. But Jackson’s biggest concern is the money that will be taken out of the towns and counties pockets.

He says with 50 windmills in Fairfield, the county, the town and West Canada School will split $800,000 a year.

The counties cut, just from this one project, is $160,000 per year plus a one time $400,000 bonus, all money he says could be used to help build the new jail. Up until now the county wanted more.

Len Hendrix is the chairman of the Herkimer County Legislature, and he offered this quote tonight.

“You’re giving a roughly 85 percent tax break. No one else gets that, but it's the nature of this project and we just want what is best for our tax payers. I think the biggest hold up has been with the West Canada School District and the Town and how they are going to divide up the remaining money”.

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