Letter: Minuteman Will Be Winner, Savoy Loser in Wind Profits

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To the Editor:

I am following the Savoy wind development story with great interest because a developer tried to build turbines in my town of Peru.

Just like Savoy, the developer tried to change our bylaws to make the requirements and limitations more suitable for his project, and of course for his bottom line. But what about Savoy's bottom line?

My understanding is there is no financial agreement as of yet between the developer and the town. Having no agreement in place is a risky financial move. To add insult to injury, it is predictable that real estate values within a two-mile radius of the turbines will decrease, the likelihood of selling those properties will drastically be affected in a negative way, and the overall assessment of Savoy will feel the impact if other parts of the country provide an indicator of what Savoy can expect.

But I also wonder if voters in Savoy are aware of what a cash cow this will be for Minuteman Wind. The company already received $224,781 of state public money to pursue the project. With an average output capacity of about 30 percent, and the price of Renewable Energy Credits (paid for by us, rolled into our electric bills) of $60 a credit, Minuteman is looking at $1.8 million a year in subsidies paid for by all the rest of us. That's on top of selling electricity to the grid. The guesstimate of income to Savoy would only be about $100,000-$200,000, or a $5 a week benefit to everyone in town. And, I am guessing the developer is trying to pay as little as possible while acting like they are doing Savoy a big favor.

Minuteman will be the winner. Savoy will lose real estate value, suffer nuisances and likely health effects, and provide a vehicle for yet another wind developer to take advantage of rate payers and tax payers, all in the name of green energy.

Savoy's special town meeting to amend their wind bylaw is Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. at the Savoy Fire Station. If you don't want this rip-off taking place in your town, doing you no good but only harm, please do what we did in Peru, vote "NO" on the developer's bylaw change. Please visit www.savoywind.com.

Kimberly Wetherell
Peru, Mass.





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Berkshire Immigrant Center Celebrates National Immigrant Heritage Month

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Beginning June 1, the Berkshire Immigrant Center invites the community to honor the more than 10,000 immigrants in the Berkshires and by joining the annual observance of national Immigrant Heritage Month and helping to launch a $10,000 fundraising campaign for the center.

"During Immigrant Heritage Month, we proudly honor the many ways immigrants make the Berkshires a better place," said BIC Executive Director Michelle Lopez. "This year we are especially grateful for the hundreds of foreign-born doctors, medical technicians, nurses and staff who are caring for people at Berkshire Medical Center, Fairview Hospital, and nursing homes, and for local immigrants who are essential workers at our grocery stores, restaurants and farms."

Since March 20, BIC has raised more than $70,000 for a COVID-19 Relief Fund. Through this fund, BIC has helped more than 140 clients and their families pay for basic needs like rent and utilities.

"We know that so many local people are hurting, both our clients and our supporters, yet even during this crisis people are asking us how they can help," Lopez said.

While 100 percent of emergency relief has been passed through to clients, donations to the Immigrant Heritage Month Campaign help ensure that BIC can serve the local immigrant community in crisis and beyond, including helping immigrants become US citizens. In this year of the U.S. Census count, BIC has also worked diligently to make sure that immigrants are counted and that Berkshire communities thus receive every dollar of federal aid that they should get.

Tax-deductible donations of any amount are welcome online. Contributions can also be made by check made out to Berkshire Immigrant Center and mailed to BIC, 67 East Street, Pittsfield MA 01201.

The center remains the only program in Berkshire County that focuses exclusively on meeting the unique challenges of a continuously growing immigrant and refugee population. In 2018 BIC was named "Best Small Nonprofit" in the state by Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.

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