Power lines in Clinton.      Margaret Wentworth / The Observer
Power lines in Clinton. Margaret Wentworth / The Observer

Letters: Power project will shock Clinton’s bucolic base

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The Town of Clinton exists within a precarious balance; it’s a bucolic town of mostly residential properties on winding country roads, often rising to breath-taking views of the Catskills, the Taconic Hills, and beyond. We’re a mix of blue collar, white collar, academia, and weekend residents. We’re united by the love for our town, and that is why we live here, even though a lack of industry, and having large, protected spaces keep our taxes higher than most. Nevertheless, we feel it’s a price to pay to enjoy daily what many travel miles to find.

Our efforts at energy conservation have impacted the earning power of electric utilities, which are now looking for a cheaper (upstate) product to improve their profit margin.

A proposed new 345 KV power corridor would alter Clinton forever. A huge swath of acquired real estate would pay minimal taxes, plus the homes that would be acquired will erode the tax base even further. These electric highways — wider and taller — will cause real estate values to plummet. It would make the effects of the Iroquois gas pipeline, which was forced down our throats, look like a picnic.

Clinton, as we know it, will cease to exist unless we make the decision makers listen to us. Many options could be considered, some more expensive than others, but proven cheaper in the long run. Burial is one preferred solution and the least disruptive, more efficient, as well as being safer.

The irony is that we will all pay more for electricity to cover the cost of this construction, with the promise that it will make our rates drop in the future. With that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you.

John Vanderlee
Staatsburg (Town of Clinton)

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