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Wind farm backers face a long, cold winter of discontent  

Credit:  By Jeff Alexander, WBAY-TV, www.wbay.com 10 November 2010 ~~

It could be months before a decision is reached about a controversial plan to build what would be the state’s largest wind farm in southern Brown County.

Tensions are rising in the communities of Morrison, Hollandtown, and Wrightstown. The battle lines are drawn, and have been for a year now, throughout the farm lands.

“The fight is not over in my mind – or in reality. It’s not over,” Jon Morehouse said.

Morehouse leads a group of more than 200 residents opposing a plan by a Chicago-based company to erect 100 wind turbines.

The state’s Public Service Commission and lawmakers will have the final say, but Morehouse says he was told by several lawmakers Wednesday it could be spring before a decision is made.

But that’s not what Roland Klug is hearing. Klug says he’s already receiving money from a contract he signed to have two turbines on his property.

He says a project engineer told him construction will start soon.

“In the winter they’ll start getting the roads in and things, and I hope by next year this time they should be up,” Klug said.

Late Wednesday afternoon Action 2 News received word from the Public Service Commission that it’s still waiting for the wind farm developer, Invenergy, to complete its application for the project. The PSC says Invenergy withdrew its original application.

While Klug stands to make $18,000 a year for the use of his land, it’s coming at a cost. “My own kids don’t talk to me. It’s really hard.”

The wind turbine debate has become so heated and divisive here in southern Brown County, the principal of Morrison Zion Lutheran School says staff recently imposed a moratorium on students discussing the topic during school.

As residents wait for final word, opinions become stronger and wounds grow deeper.

“I think anything can be healed, but it has to be talked about,” Morehouse said.

But even that hasn’t helped so far.

Source:  By Jeff Alexander, WBAY-TV, www.wbay.com 10 November 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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