I was extremely disappointed when the Calumet County Board of Supervisors voted down the enactment of a one-year moratorium on wind projects at the January meeting.
Merlin Gentz, county board chairman, talked in great lengths about why a moratorium would be in the best interests of the county, and the importance of monitoring the Johnsburg project.
He mentioned that the health and safety of the residents was at stake, and the first thing to be considered. He talked about being an advocate for wind energy, but that the site is all-important, and therefore, we shouldn’t rush into establishing wind turbines in our county.
He believes the county should do a sound study once the Johnsburg project is online, so that before we would allow the first turbine to go up in Calumet County, we would know if people will have trouble sleeping and if they will be affected by the constant sound. He mentions if a sound study substantiates that1,000-foot setbacks and 50 decibels is OK, he would support the projects wholeheartedly.
But for right now, he favors erring on the cautious side. The concerns raised by our county board chairman are substantiated and need careful consideration.
We have the opportunity to monitor a project in a neighboring county that will be very much like the projects proposed in Calumet County. Opportunities like this are rare, and we, as a county, are being irresponsible to pass this up.
On a subject that is so controversial and will have a huge impact on our county, why aren’t we being proactive by taking the time to monitor Johnsburg, and letting the facts speak for themselves?
I strongly urge our county board members to reconsider a one-year moratorium. We have so much to gain, with everything to lose.
21 February 2008
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