The possibility of wind turbine farms being located in Whitley County causes me to have some grave concerns, as I imagine it does any citizen of Whitley County who enjoys the type of community we have here. These concerns primarily relate to the health effects on the community and income for the community – both in tax dollars for Columbia City and Whitley County and the businesses located here.
I did some research when I first heard about the possibility of the wind turbines being located here, and what I have found out about how people can live with the turbines is quite troubling. There are all kinds of negative health effects from the turbines – just the noise level in and of itself has shown to cause migraines and insomnia for people living a half a mile and more away from them. Then there are the effects of the flickering shadows and the havoc the noise, shadows and vibration causes nearby livestock, wildlife, and humans.
Just last week on the Rush Limbaugh radio program, Mr. Limbaugh brought up the experience of the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts, which spent over 1.3 million dollars to erect a wind turbine with the idea that it would power their major city buildings and save the taxpayers substantial money. They erected the size of wind turbine proposed for Whitley County. It has ended up being a huge mistake for the people of Falmouth. The turbine is so loud and the flickering so upsetting to people that they have decided to only allow it to run if the wind is below 25 miles per hour. The sad thing is that these turbines are most efficient at a minimum of 35 miles per hour wind speeds. Instead of saving money for the city, the wind turbine has ended up costing them money which they may never recover in energy savings.
I researched this story on the Internet to see if it was reported accurately, and it indeed was.
Then there is the experience of the people in California and Hawaii where wind turbines were built in 1981 through 1985 when the government was subsidizing the building and running of wind turbines. Then when government subsidy disappeared, the turbines were taken out of use, and they stand to this day leaking oil and taking up vast amounts of acerage. The same thing could very well happen here in Whitley County. Our nation is in trouble financially, and dollars for programs will necessarily be disappearing, and we may be stuck with 400 foot windmills, which dwarf grain elevators, standing in our fields making our land useless.
And then there is the matter of the growth of Whitley County. Our county has enjoyed being a bedroom community for Allen County. People who work in Fort Wayne but want a better lifestyle for their family; a little more land to call their own, good schools, a more peaceful lifestyle, great community support like the YMCA and our beautiful library, have been moving to Whitley County, bringing their incomes with them and spending it at our local businesses, paying Whitley County property taxes, and on and on. We are naïve to think that Whitley County will still be attractive to people as a place to move if we have fields with 400 foot wind turbines in them – the quality of life which this type of person is looking for will not be available here. The dollars lost to our community as a result of the loss of families moving here is many times larger than the amount of dollars that will supposedly be brought into the community with the installation of the wind turbines.
Our county is just too densely populated for this to be a good area for wind turbine farms. Driving across Indiana and Illinois on Highway 24 one can see fields full of wind turbines, the same size as those proposed for us. These giant turbines absolutely dwarf the grain elevators near them. The majority of them are in the middle of vast fields with no homes anywhere near them. That is the type of area which is appropriate for the turbines to be built, not an area full of smaller farms and acerages such as Whitley County.
Please do not allow these wind turbines to be built in our lovely community. The detrimental effects far outweigh the plusses to the residents of Whitley County. I think everyone, myself included, is fully behind green energy, but it has to be used just as thoughtfully and wisely as the building of a nuclear power plant or anything else we do with our environment.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter and the time which you devote to the citizenry of Whitley County.
Sally J. Grissom
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