Thursday, December 13, 2007

Letter to the Editor by Elisabeth Johnsen Cowley

Letter to the Editor!

Are you a taxpayer in the Naples School District?

It has come to light that 2 if not 3, industrial wind turbines from the Cohocton UPC Pine Hill project are under construction within the Naples School District. SCIDA(Steuben Industrial Development Agency) and UPC, Cohocton(developer) would like the Naples School Board to accept a PILOT program(payment in lieu of taxes) for the part of UPC' industrial development that will be within Naples School District, Ontario County.

If you compare the numbers from The Daily Messengers article;" A Stirring To The South " concerning the PILOT program in Cohocton, you will realize that the money SCIDA and UPC might offer the Naples School Board is minuscule in comparison to taxation based on full value for these turbines.

The school board members are elected to fulfill the obligation to provide the best possible education for our children and youth. Every property owner in the Naples School District contributes to this effort and should be treated equally. Every piece of property with homes/buildings/etc..., is taxed depending on its value. This should be the case also for new industrial sites like the wind turbines, an industry we do not benefit from locally.

Turbine 1,2 and 3 in the UPC project, with a value of at least $ 2-3 million each, would be a considerable addition to the tax base in the Naples School District.(keep in mind that more leases have been signed for turbines in our district)

If one looks at recent history we remember that the last school budget in Naples was rejected. Enrolments in our school system have gone down. Property values in our area are decreasing. As concerned citizens we might worry that school taxes will increase and thereby make it difficult for many families to keep residing in our community.

As tax payers and part of the elective body, we ask that the Naples School District take action to reject any PILOT for the UPC industrial wind project that lies within the Naples School District. Any attempt by SCIDA to circumvent the fair and equitable tax treatment of the Naples School District should be rejected too.

Representatives for both SCIDA and UPC have been invited by the school administration, to the school board meeting in Naples December 12th, to present/inform the board members about their PILOT program.

It is important that the Board and residents of Naples School District voice their concerns on the questionable proposed PILOT program for UPC Steuben county at SCIDAs public hearing in Prattsburgh at the Town Hall 19 North Main St. December. 18th 2007 at 10 am.

The PILOT program will be voted on two days later, December 20th, at SCIDA's offices in Bath.

The Naples School Board's members are serving the community as volunteers. They put in countless hours and work for the district the very best way they possible can. They deserve our utmost respect!

As an obsrevation, the Naples School Board has a very short time to form an educated decision on this challenge.

Good luck to them!

Elisabeth Johnsen Cowley, Naples New York

Voice Your Choice Say NO to Overhead Power Lines

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