Ogden Township leaders voted unanimously to accept a six month moratorium on wind farm development that will give a citizen’s group time to study the affects and possible restrictions for a 45 wind turbine proposal by two wind companies.
This also gives residents split on the decision more time to hash out the pros and cons.
“We moved out of Toldo to buy a farm and get out to the peace and quiet,” said Libby Salach, Ogden Township resident.
And that chance of a disturbed peace and quiet was the number one concern expressed at a meeting Monday night.
“When you turn off your lights and go to bed and it’s a nice night and you have your windows open. The only thing you hear is crickets,” said Salach.
If an 81 megawatt wind farm goes up, Salach is concerned she could also hear a maximum 45 decibels of wind turbine– which is between the level of quiet conversation and a suburban neighborhood–and developers say that is the max.
“Under summer conditions– when people are outside, the ground absorbs more sound than in the winter so the sound levels will be more moderate. But also the turbines are only at this maximum sound level when they’re running at full capacity and much of the time they’re at significantly less than full capacity and the sound that they’re putting out is less than that,” said Doug Duimering, Exelon Wind.
Noise is not the only worry. Some are concerned about home values and the long-term health effects. But others see a list of positives: including moving away from fossil fuels and the economic impact.
“The revenue that these so-called units will create for the township and the surrounding communities,” said Jim Gates, Ogden Township Supervisor.
Still, Salach is not convinced.
“You have basically 20 farmers controlling the lives of 1,300 residents in this county and that’s not fair,” said Salach.
That is why township leaders say the moratorium for research is a good idea.
“They’re going to bring back recommendations or guidelines that we can actually put into this police ordinance to kind of restrict and I think we need the restrictions,” said Gates.
But no matter what they find, some are not changing their minds.
“It’s awful,” said Salach. “It’s absolutely awful. It is not right for this area.”
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