DOVER – Ray Gromacki says he is a realist when it comes to the green movement that is sweeping America and emerging technologies that support today’s lifestyles.
But at the same time the Dover town chairman wants to make sure town residents and their properties have some relief from the towering apparatus needed to support machinery like wind turbines, television and broadcast antennae and cell phone towers.
The Town Board and Plan Commission on April 16 directed town staff to begin amassing information from communities throughout the state that have enacted controls on such towers. Gromacki says the intent is for Dover to adopt its own ordinance.
The impetus for Gromacki was a recent return trip from a town government convention when he happened upon part of the We Energies wind farm project in northeast Fon du Lac County east of Lake Winnebago. We Energies has erected 88 wind turbines in the towns of Calumet and Marshfield in the county. The electric-generating turbines make quite a startling, perhaps impressive, sight on the rural landscape.
Gromacki believe that such facilities are going to become more prominent around the state in coming years. “The entire movement is going green. You’re not going to stop these wind farms,” Gromacki said Wednesday.
Yet, Gromacki wants to make sure the town has rules in place that make sure there is sufficient setback between residences and wind turbines as well as broadcast and cell phone towers; that there are decibel limits on how much noise the turbines generate; and perhaps limits on how many towers or turbines could be placed on a parcel “so that they don’t become a detriment to the community.”
Gromacki said he does not believe the state Legislature has taken sufficient steps to regulate wind turbines.
He says the town has not received any inquiries from utilities interested in erecting wind turbines in the town. “We want to beat them to the punch,” Gromacki said.
By Pete Wicklund
24 April 2008
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