Local residents expressed concerns about the status of the wind turbine project to Mount Pleasant Township Supervisors at their meeting Monday night.
Eileen Magliacane of Pleasant Mount presented a copy of a sample wind turbines ordinance to the supervisors.
She was concerned about property values. “These windmills will only benefit private landowners, not us,” she stated. “The company [Orion Energy] won’t lose any money but will make a profit if the properties with the windmills are sold, and the windmills would be paid with taxpayer money. If the landowners agree to the windmills they sign contracts. Once the permits are issued, there are supposed to be town meetings with the citizens concerning the windmills,” she explained.
“We can come up with an ordinance that will prevent the company from reaping profit from the taxpayers,” suggested Supervisor Albert Wildenstein.
Another concern was that there is no legislation to regulate where the wind turbines can be built. “They can be built anywhere,” said Magliacane.
The model ordinance states that “audible sound from a wind energy facility shall not exceed fifty DBA, as measured at the exterior of any occupied building on a non-participating landowner’s property,” and that “the facility owner and operator shall make reasonable efforts to minimize shadow flicker to any occupied building on a non-participating landowner’s property.” However, property owners may sign a waiver of the noise and shadow flicker provisions of the ordinance.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Mrs. Magliacane.”The property owners don’t live on the property.”
According to Supervisor Wildenstein, the model ordinance contains requirements the supervisors can pass on for putting up the windmills, although the state of Pennsylvania may not allow the township to pass an ordinance to prevent the wind turbines.
The windmills must also comply with FAA restrictions on height. The new wind turbines are expected to be higher than the ones making up the Waymart Wind Farm on the same ridge line to the south.
“These windmills aren’t going to eliminate the need for power plants. They’re only going to make money for private landowners,” said Magliacane.
“PPL says that with just the new plant running it creates all the electricity they need,” said Supervisor Chairman John Nebzydoski.
“There may be another test tower going up, but we’re not sure,” said Wildenstein. He then stated that the supervisors will discuss the wind turbine project further with Solicitor David Bianco.
Facts about wind power and a copy of the model ordinance can be found by visiting the State of Pennsylvania website: http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/energy.
More information can also be found at www.stopillwind.org.
Mount Pleasant Supervisors meet on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Mount Pleasant Township building.
By Malinda Martines
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