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Assurances demanded on Glenmore project; wind turbine plans raise property, health questions

GLENMORE – The concerns aired by residents Tuesday night in response to Tom Mattson’s wind-turbine proposal were nothing new – noise pollution, decreasing property values and liability.

The board will discuss and vote on the project at its June 4 meeting.

But as with previous wind-turbine proposals that went before the town for permits, residents wanted assurances from Tom Mattson of Suamico-based Prelude LLC that the seven turbines he wants to build will have a minimal effect on their community, health and property value.

Town chairman Don Kittell read from a stack of written comments, many of them questioning the long-term effect on property values from the turbines,

“If I’m not going to be able to sell my house, what will the town or company do about it?” asked Steven Peters in a written statement.

The town’s planning commission has only given the green light on five of the turbines. That decision came after Emerging Energies/Shirley Wind LLC of Hubertus said the proposed locations of those two turbines would conflict with the eight turbines they are approved to build in Glenmore.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Mattson said he was working with Emerging Energies to come to a compromise, although the details have yet to be hammered out.

“I am not going to position myself as an adversary to Emerging Energies,” Mattson said.

Despite a six-month moratorium on new wind-energy projects that was passed in April – which originally only excluded two existing Wisconsin Public Service turbines and the Emerging Energies project – Mattson’s proposal was heard by the planning commission. On May 7, the board changed the wording of the ordinance to include Mattson’s project.

Because of a number of changes have been made since the proposal was initially heard, some residents questioned whether the project – slated to be up and running in a year once the permit is granted – would be what’s expected.

“I don’t believe any company can say exactly,” said Mattson, whose project proposes seven 1.5 Megawatt, 450-foot turbines on properties owned by four Glenmore residents along Morrison and School roads.

The town, county and residents within a half-mile of the turbines will receive a portion of the $4,000 annual payoff from each turbine – that means $14,000 to the town each year.

Emerging Energies was the first company to approach the town board with a proposal to capitalize on wind energy – a 30-year permit to operate those turbines was approved in early April.

But first, the town had to create a wind energy ordinance adopted in December 2006, partly developed thanks to Emerging Energies interest in building new turbines and the concerns residents raised.

By Malavika Jagannathan

Green Bay Press Gazette


23 May 2007