Fifty-two people crowded into a small county commissioners’ courtroom Monday as Gillespie County officials heard concerns about the prospect of wind turbines in the Texas Hill Country.
Around half of those in attendance came specifically to support a community group calling itself Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment.
The group, represented by Billy Teague, asked the commissioners for a resolution affirming that the commissioners would not offer any incentive, tax abatement or any modifications to county roads to accommodate wind farm companies.
“Environmentally, wind farms do not belong in the Hill Country,” Teague said. “While I understand the good it can do for some people, it is devastating to the neighbors and the rest of the county.”
County Judge Mark Stroeher assured the group that the county commissioners have never granted any tax abatement for wind turbine companies nor had any company contacted them about leniency or abatement.
“I think it is pretty clear when AES was looking that it is not something that is favorable in this county,” Stroeher said. “I don’t think they will find any friends if they come again.”
Commissioner Calvin Ransleben said that, by signing a contract with a wind turbine company, landowners would be giving away the rights to their property.
“That is our foremost goal, to try to get the landowners educated that, if they sign, they sign their land away,” Teague said.
Another interested party, John Eckland, asked the judge if it were possible to file a class action lawsuit similar to ones filed in California that would prevent wind turbine companies from entering the area.
Stroeher explained that it was not possible to file a class action lawsuit until companies actually enter the area.
26 September 2007
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