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Wind company pulls out of Hammond

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Wind company pulls out of Hammond
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Many communities in the North Country are dealing with debates over wind power.
A town in St. Lawrence County has to go back to the drawing board, after a wind company pulled out of a project to bring wind turbines to their area. YNN's Carmella Mataloni tells us why the project has divided the community.

HAMMOND, N.Y. -- Ibredrola of Spain is one of the world's biggest wind power companies. A few years ago, they came to the small town of Hammond to begin plans to put up 75 wind turbines. The project has now been put on the back burner, but has caused many arguments between people within the town.

"Basically, it has left us a divided community and now they can walk away because basically it was a job for them but now we are left to pick up the pieces," Mary Hamilton, Concerned Residents of Hammond President.

According to officials at the wind company, after installing test towers to calculate the speed of the wind and further evaluation, the project turned out to be something they couldn't pursue.

"In order to continue to elevate our best projects with the best wind, there are sometimes projects we are no longer able to continue with and this unfortunately was one of those projects,” Paul Copleman, Ibredrola Renewals Communications Manager.

Many community members were surprised to see the company back out, but people who were opposed to it in the first place are glad they don't have to deal with the side effects the turbines would bring to the area.

"Property loss, noise levels, you know, everyday now your read articles where people had to leave their homes because of the impact that the turbines would bring to the area," said Hamilton.

Hammond's superintendent says that while he was never opposed to the wind turbines. He understands why people could see the negatives and the community is his first concern.

"I think they can be properly sited and my goal was to make sure the health and welfare of our community was first and then the Ibredrola's plans would be second to that," Ronald Burtram, Hammond Superintendent.

Now that the company has pulled out, these test towers must come down. However, how and when that will happen is still unclear.

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