By: Dana Hendrickson
For people who call the town of Ellenburg home, these green pastures are sacred ground. Barbara Kramer, the Vice President of Neighbors of the North Country, said, “It is my utopia. Do you know what that means? Paradise. And this is paradise. And it is going to be devastated forever. ”
Neighbors of the North Country is a group opposed to Marble River Wind Farm, a project to build 400 foot tall wind turbines throughout Clinton County. But the project manager, Charlie Turlinkski said the 109 turbines built in the towns of Ellenburg and Clinton alone will create enough power for 60,000 homes.
“There is a need to create more power in this state for all the households. Earlier this summer we busted through power consumption records. So we need more power,” Turlinkski said.
Eighty-seven people have agreed to having turbines built on their property. In exchange, the land owners receive yearly payments. Sherry McNeil, the owner of Don-Sher Farm, said, “It is just going to take the pressure off of the everyday struggle that you have to go through, in order to keep a small family farm going.”
But people fighting the plan said you cannot put a price tag on mother nature. “To me they are monsters, monstrosities, and they will be all around us,” Kramer said.
And if that happens, members from Neighbors of the North Country said they may have no other choice but to move.
Once a State Environmental Quality Review is completed on the project, the town can go ahead and issue a building permit. The Marble River Wind Farm’s project manager expects the wind turbines to be up and running by 2008.
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