FLOYD COUNTY; Va. — No final decision on the future of wind energy in Floyd County.
More than 150 people attended a public meeting Tuesday night to express their opinions on the possibility of wind energy coming to Floyd County.
Wayne Booth has collected roughly 700 signatures from his fellow Floyd County residents opposing wind turbines.
“I feel like it’s going to destroy our view,” said Booth.
Booth lives on a farm right below Wills Ridge, where several companies have expressed interested in building turbines. Tuesday, his voice joined dozens of others at a public hearing on the issue.
“Wind turbines are nothing but bird-chomping, bat-crunching, tax payer-fleecing, monstrosities on our magnificent landscape,” quoted Floyd County resident Helen St. Clair.
“If a man owns property and wants to build a wind mill on it, that’s his business,” said resident J.C. Holden. “As long as that wind mill’s not bothering mine, as long as it’s not throwing bird guts over on my property, let him have it.”
The Floyd County board of supervisors proposed an ordinance that would restrict structures taller than 40 feet on a protected ridge line 2000 feet above sea level (in essence a ban on wind turbines). But board members were met with strong opposition to the wording of this ordinance at the public meeting.
“Surely you don’t expect your economic development director to turn away an industry that is well paying, has good benefits, low environmental impact in Floyd County, just because in their process they have to have a 42 foot tall building ,” said resident Jerry Booth.
Board chairman Case Clinger said after hearing many of the concerns, the ordinance will likely have to be rewritten and the process started all over again.
“We’ll decide if we want to tweak it any or take a vote on it, basically mull over what we’ve heard,” said Clinger.
The next board of supervisors meeting is set for February 14.