In a flyer apparently deposited in many township mail boxes, a group calling itself the “Melancthon Ratepayers Legal Defense Group” is asking for donations at a Shelburne post office box, but has not revealed the names of any individual involved with the group.
The distribution followed hard on the heels of Melancthon Council’s recent resolution to support the position of Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. (CHD) at the Ontario Municipal Board hearings.
In the flyer, the group is accusing the township of not properly scrutinizing the Environment Screening Report for the 88 turbines of the Melancthon Wind Project’s Phase 2.
It is asking for greater setbacks in the interests of what it calls “better planning.”
“This group of Melancthon ratepayers wants the setbacks for the proposed Phase 2 of the wind plant to be increased, so that the turbines are further away from homes, public roads, and property lines.
The minor concessions made after Phase 1 for this new project are not to the community’s advantage,” the flyer reads.
It says the Melancthon compensation settlement negotiated with CHD “will not compensate for the lack of good, responsible planning.”
(The compensation to the township includes a flat $4,000 per turbine in addition to the industrial taxes on what the township treasurer says works out to a $93,000 average assessment per turbine – the $60,000 provincial cap plus an average of $33,000 for such as access roads and other peripherals.)
Although no individual is named in the flyer, these are the parties to the OMB hearing (in addition to the two townships and CHD): Paul & Natalie Almeida, Mark & Karen Benvenete, Leonard (Leo) Blydorp, Ivica, Jure, Milan, Stjepan & Lydia Mutavdzvija, Paul Janssen, Paul Keefe, Harvey J. Lyon, John Parr, Dennis Sanford, Nicholas Schaut & Monique van den Heuvel, Bruce Whitten, David Miller, Vernon and Steffani Laxton, Ildegal Demelo, Jerrold and Sandra Smith, and Margaret (Peggy) Hutchison as agent for several.
Not all of the listed parties are opposing the proposed wind farm.
It could not be immediately determined whether some or all of the opposing parties comprise the legal defense group. However, those listed in the pre-hearing hearing officer’s decision were the only persons seeking party status at the conferences.
By Wes Keller
21 June 2007
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