Watertown City Council votes to oppose wind farms near Fort Drum

Oct 3, 2017

The Watertown City Council adopted a resolution Monday night opposing several wind farms that are under development near Fort Drum. Mayor Joseph Butler says the wind turbines would interfere with military base's radar system, impeding its training operations.

“We’re in a position where we don’t want to weaken the strength of the mission readiness at the base, we want to enhance it,” Butler said. “So we’re just making a statement to express our support that we’re not anti-wind, we’re priority Fort Drum.”

Eight wind farms near Fort Drum are currently being considered for approval by New York state.
Credit Development Authority of North Country

The Watertown City Council is the latest to come out against the eight wind farms that are under development near Fort Drum. In recent weeks, North Country congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Assemblywoman Addie Jenne (D-Watertown) and the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, an advocacy group for the base, have all warned about the potential consequences for the base, and the surrounding communities that rely on it.

“While we support wind development, Fort Drum is a major priority for the city of Watertown,” Butler said.

The developer of the proposed Horse Creek Wind Farm in Jefferson County says many military bases coexist with wind farms in the country.