Editor’s Note: This letter is addressed to the members of Chatham-Kent council and Mayor Randy Hope.
Sir: I am writing with respect to the proposed wind turbines for Chatham-Kent. My concerns are shadow flicker effect; noise, vibration and health issues; devaluation of property; environmental impact; and economic impact.
In the last few weeks I have been doing some research of my own and have not been impressed with what I have found. In hopes of obtaining further information, my husband and I attended the AIMPOWERGEN open house on Feb. 28 in Blenheim.
At this open house we reviewed with two of AIMPOWERGEN’s independent experts and with an AIMPOWERGEN representative the map outlining where the proposed wind turbines are expected to be placed. First of all, we discovered that our home, along with two neighbouring properties, was marked as “participator” as opposed to “residence.” Under the proposed bylaw, this would mean that a wind turbine could actually be placed an additional 50 metres closer to our home.
When this was pointed out, no one seemed too concerned as they were “quite busy” but rather we were given business cards and the onus placed on us to contact them to have this corrected later.
We were also advised that we could expect to have shadow flicker from a half-hour to five hours a day, although not likely every day. When I expressed my dismay with having a strobe-light-like shadow in our home the solution that was given us was to “close your blinds.” I hope that you can understand my feelings here. We purchased our home in the country approximately three years ago. This was our dream home with room to roam and peace and quiet. We did not move here so that we could sit inside our house with our windows and blinds closed for up to five hours a day.
As well, we found that we were not given any concrete facts as to the true efficiency of the wind turbines, the cost to taxpayers involved (as it is my understanding that the construction cost is two-thirds funded by the provincial level of government) or the exact location and number of proposed turbines.
We were also shown a graphic representation of how the noise from the turbines is expected to affect surrounding homes. Our home, along with several others, fell well within the affected area. Most of all we learned of AIMPOWERGEN’s true feelings for the people of the community surrounding these proposed wind turbines.
While standing waiting to speak to Mr. Jay Wilgar, Vice-President, Field Operations, I was able to hear first hand his discussion with a local businessman. The local man was expressing concern that some people in the community are opposed to the wind turbines. Mr. Wilgar’s response included the following statement “. . . and some people just don’t like the looks of them, well, too bad for them.”
Too bad for them?! I am incredibly shocked and disappointed that people who wish to do business in this community could care so little for the people who live in it. It is appalling to me that a representative of this company could show such disdain and contempt for people that could be potential neighbours.
So, I am left with the following questions: Should we find that our quality of life is disturbed, the noise level is greater than expected, our property becomes unsellable and/or devalued or our health is adversely affected, who is liable? Where do we seek recourse?
Brandy Robertson Young
13 March 2008
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