On Tuesday, October 2, I attended the Public Service Board meeting in Readsboro on the proposed windmill project that is slated to go in the towns of Searsburg and Readsboro and spoke my piece as a citizen.
I was there as a citizen speaking my personal views and the views of fellow citizens that, for one reason or another, could not. After all these years of staying on the fence I felt this was the time to jump off and speak my mind. Again, in this letter, I am expressing my personal views and am not representing the town in any official capacity.
In the town of Searsburg the private citizens own about 20% of the land and the rest belongs to the power companies, the state, and the National Forest. That extremely limits our growth as a town, yet they continue to destroy more forest land in the name of public good.
The profits from this public good go to foreign investors. The efficiency rating of windmills is about 26% in this area, which computes to between $3 million and $3.5 million a year return for this project.
This project is expected to cost over $60 million to build and destroy 80 acres of prime pristine forest land. How can you justify the cost with the return? Is there a price on our National Forests? Is there a price on the people’s lives that live nearby that will surely be changed by the noise and lights? Is there a price on the many others who will see the nine to 12 red flashing lights from a distance in the night sky? They paint a rosy picture, but is it?
I ask you all, Is this in the public good? I am sorry if I am one of the few that think it is not. I would like to think that I am one of the few that is more informed and not some crazy guy in the mountains blowing his horn.
After all, I have been listening and asking for six years with many questions going unanswered.
This being the first project of its kind on forest service land it will set a national precedent. It is time all of you weigh in on this, voters and nonvoters, be heard.
You can send your comments to the Public Service Board by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: Vermont Public Service Board, 112 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05620-2701.
Is this not one of those cases where “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” applies? If I am just one of the “ few” and all of this is justifiable, I apologize for caring to speak out, but I think I am one of the silent majority or “many.”
Michael Johnson Sr.
18 October 2007
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