Comment for Hearing on Proposed Evans Local Law #1 (2017)-David Stout, 354 Lakeside Road, 14006
What the Town of Evans needs now-money. Where does it really come from? The SUN is the source. The stored energy of fossil fuels has powered our world because it is valued as money. The world needs to hook our future to the FREE Energy of the SUN and cease using fossil fuels. Science says plenty of SUN energy exists, we only need to capture about half of it to meet current needs.
In recent years those states that have embraced renewable energy in its many forms have gone beyond surviving. If our Town is to attract capital created with past profit, we MUST encourage renewable energy capture here. The primary availabilities are wind and solar electric; and they actually better fit the need together.
Choosing to tax renewable energy capture equipment will lead to decreasing revenue as the physical equipment ages. Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) AGREEMENTS typically provide a LEVEL, FIXED income to a Town and can last for the life of the installed equipment as well as being assured by the continuous energy from the SUN. Clearly there is far more income assured by a PILOT.
A huge opportunity to increase Town revenue is before us as community energy systems lower electric costs for all participants within a power distribution company system (mostly National Grid here). Those bringing the capital investment to this Town should be encouraged, not hindered. They will help the Town finances if we wisely allow them to install energy capture systems. If we do not they will go elsewhere and Evans will continue to decline.
The reason Solar City is in Buffalo IS low cost energy, not NYS higher taxes and best in class environmental regulations. For the same reason capital will come to Evans if we wisely allow renewable energy facilities.
We need to reject the proposed local law #1 of 2017 and revise the existing renewable energy law to accept licensed engineering determinations from other than NYS, perhaps accept those approved by NYSERDA. The prohibitive cost of 5 NYS engineers to even consider a renewable energy system as acceptable to be reviewed is unreasonable. Model what the Town of Brant has.
The City of Lackawanna, NY has PILOT agreements for their wind turbine capture facility. Find out why and how it’s working. The constant revaluation of commercial renewable energy facilities cannot be inexpensive either, but is required by NYS real property law. Is this Town really ready to take on this expense for a dozen to hundreds of renewable energy systems? Dozens of homeowners will have to be reassessed with every new window or other energy improvement (required by real property law).
The proposed LL#1 should be rejected. This Town can be a leader, not unreasonable.