The Don Quixote Plan for Suffolk County – Get Free Money From Albany or D.C.

Chasing windmills? How can that go wrong? OK, this is what happened!

You are the Suffolk County Water Authority. In order to operate your network of 600 wells, your annual electric bill is $25 million dollars. That’s 25% of your TOTAL annual budget. WOW!

Your solution – erect a WIND TURBINE (that’s NOT a misprint) near Southhold Town’s Laurel Lake.

The cost – $500,000 dollars (not bad in a 100 million dollar budget)

The Plan –

  1. Your actuaries say that you will recoup your investment in 12 years (love those accountants)
  2. By reducing carbon emissions, your clean energy program will save the planet and create or save “green jobs” (definitely a Nobel Prize nominee)
  3. Everyone will love you (we’ll see about that one)

Well, there were some “minor ” problems.

I guess everyone didn’t love the solution because this week the Suffolk Water Board decided to drop their plans entirely.

What happened?

Seventeen residents (and more than 100 angry emails) and many of their supporters spoke out against the plan claiming that –

  1. These 24 hours-a-day turbines would be noisy, unsightly and a danger to wildlife! Why even bother considering the neighbors when “the common good” of the whole County is at stake? But that is a lot of voters. ( I also guess that if you live in Washington or Albany, you will never even notice it)
  2. A “new” analysis clearly showed that their investment would NOT pay off the initial investment for at least 24 YEARS! Not the 12 years they initially claimed. (I’m surprised they didn’t hire Bernie Madoff to figure it out)

But, in today’s day of Obama economics, the Water Board is not giving up so quickly. Instead of considering other cost-cutting measures (like reducing employees and their benefit packages), this government agency is looking for a “public-private partnership” to lower their costs! That’s a euphemism for “get someone else to pay for it!”

After all, we all know that if New York State or Washington pays for it, IT’S  GOT TO BE FREE!!!

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