Rick Gdula admits his objections to proposed wind turbines are personal.
“I don’t want to look at them,” Gdula fumed at an Adams Township Planning Commission hearing on 32 wind turbines proposed for abandoned strip mines and hilltops east of the village of Dunlo.
The location is ideal for a variety of reasons, said Andrew Golembeski of EverPower Renewables Corp. of New York City.
“Highland Wind Farm is going to be a great example of how we can turn a strip mine – a brownfield site – into clean, green renewable energy,” Golembeski said.
“It’s a win-win situation,” Golembeski continued. “It is right for the environment, and it’s got positive benefits for the community.”
Adams Township will receive $100,000 a year in impact fees, and the township, Forest Hills School District and Cambria County will share in $250,000 in annual taxes, he said.
Gdula, Ray Katrancha and Richard Brown all expressed concerns about reduced values for their property near the proposed turbines, but township Solicitor William Barbin noted the planning commission and township supervisors can only apply the existing regulations on the project. Barbin said he and township engineers have reviewed plans and don’t find any violations of the township’s wind turbine regulations enacted last year.
“You guys are far out in the country, so you are impacted by something that was pushed out far into the country,” Barbin said.
About 40 people attended the hearing at Adams Township Fire Company hall in Dunlo. Not all opposed the project.
“I live on top of the mountain,” Lorraine Breedveld said. “I am going to be very close to them, and I am fine.”
She and Daniel Mattis said they toured a Meyersdale-area wind farm to experience the noise.
“We had to listen real hard to even hear a hum out of it,” Mattis said, noting the wind farm is far more desirable than the strip mines it’s regenerating.
The strip mines are gone now, Brown said, urging leaders to reject the wind farm.
“I consider them grotesque,” Brown said. “It’s not going to do a thing for the scenery. Put these towers in places where they don’t impact people’s homes.”
By Randy Griffith
17 September 2007
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