With the current threat of some 725 industrial-scale wind turbines proposed for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent many local residents have begun to alter their plans for the future.
These altered plans will have a serious economic spin-off for our municipality.
The following is a list of some economic opportunities that are being lost due to the threat of industrializing the countryside with wind turbines:
Home renovations have been suspended and will not continue if wind project goes ahead.
Withdrawn support of local non-essential businesses (curling/golf clubs, fitness facilities, churches, etc).
Will not buy a farm in the area.
Reduced expenditures on property maintenance.
Will not build a new implement shed or barn.
Will not invest in tiling farm.
Plans to expand an orchard into a commercial venture are being reconsidered.
Will not proceed with a reforestation project.
Specific plans for horticultural development, with substantial investor capital involved is threatened.
A project to create a large eco-tourism venture utilizing private lands and natural assets (with the opportunity to bring major economic benefits) is jeopardized.
Will move out of C-K.
A successful business couple with plans for expansion, say the plans could be curtailed, and they may consider leaving the area.
Plans for conservation initiatives, including a large wetland project in jeopardy.
“Why should so many of us have to suffer for what a few are doing?” is a common complaint, and citizens are contemplating legal actions and class action suits.
Some residents have approached real estate appraisers for appraisals in anticipation of lowering property values and tax assessments.
Will not buy a home in Chatham-Kent.
Will not build a new home.
Analyzing the last point a little further, a typical new 2,500 square-foot home requires about 3,400 man hours for construction. These man hours will be local jobs not farmed out from abroad and will use locally supplied materials.
Unlike an industrial wind turbine, a new home requires new furniture, remodeling, electronics, appliances, etc. every five to 10 years with mainly locally bought goods.
The taxes from a home would be similar to a turbine, but the home would contribute for 60 to 70 years, not 20, the predicted lifespan of a turbine.
Wind farms will reduce any infill housing in rural Chatham-Kent and preclude many lifestyle developments and economic opportunities.
Existing housing located next to wind farms will deteriorate and become abandoned. Is this the vision we have for our municipality?
26 April 2008
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