Town of Forest (WQOW) – Much of our countryside is filled with cornfields and forests. Now, imagine the landscape dotted with wind turbines. That’s the picture being painted in one town and many people there are hot about it.
A Wisconsin energy company wants to build almost 40 wind turbines in the Town of Forest, that’s in St. Croix County. Each turbine would be more than 325 feet tall. Emerging Energy, LLC. has been exploring the idea for a few years and then in August, the town board approved the deal.
“We don’t feel there was a lot of information given at the township level to the citizens,” says Matt Radintz, a concerned resident.
That isn’t their only concern.
“We’re concerned about some of the effects of the wind turbines in our area,” says Radintz.
They’re talking about the shadows created – along with noise.
“We did hear the low frequency hum, it was a constant hum and with the turbines also a whoosh, it actually sounded like a jet plane going over head constantly, but you get the pulsating whoosh,” a woman who had recently visited a wind farm in Iowa told the crowd Sunday night.
The Town of Forest isn’t zoned, which is why residents feel their community was targeted for the project. The state is working on coming up with unified rules to address wind turbines, but because the project is already approved the town would be exempt.
“There are specific regulations right now that have yet to be determined at the state level, that will determine the setbacks and we feel that the reason this got pushed through is to get underneath those,” says Radintz.
Since the agreement was made, the group has held several meetings and hopes a petition can persuade the board to rethink the plan at least until there’s more information available.
“We want them to take a step back look at all the issues that we’re concerned about and put it on hold until we have some answers,” says Radintz.
WQOW News 18 spoke with an employee from Emerging Energy Monday. Bill Rakocy says the agreement in August was just the next step in getting the turbines built. The plan is to have them built no later than 2013. Rakocy says there were a couple of hearings held in 2008 and again this year about the project.
The project is part of an effort to have ten percent of the state’s energy come from renewable resources by 2015.
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