RIGA TOWNSHIP – A special meeting to deal with wind turbines ended before it even began, the latest twist in an ongoing controversial project.
Township trustees were set to take some kind of action Thursday night on an ordinance to allow the turbines on farmers’ fields and the meeting drew so much interest that the fire chief limited attendance into the building to 200 people.
With about a hundred people stuck outside, the trustees decided to postpone the meeting to another date, at a larger venue.
Farmers who are poised to sign leases with wind turbine companies stand to make profits from the use of their land and turbines are widely seen as a new “crop” in Michigan. But the opponents come from Riga Township and surrounding communities. They say the wind turbines will destroy the peaceful country setting and lead to health hazards.
Trustee Paul Dusseau says he’s saddened by the situation. “I have never seen a town so divided. Brother won’t talk to sister, sister won’t talk to brother. It’s terrible, really. I never seen a town divided so bad.”
All sides did seem to agree that is was the right to reschedule the meeting.
Josh Nolan of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition said, “You can’t have a project like this that is going to affect not only the people of Riga Township, but those of Sylvania Township, Palmyra Township, Blissfield Township, Ogden Township, Whiteford Township. Everyone in the area is going to be affected by this. You can’t have some major project like that and then disallow people from participating in the process.”
Supervisor Jeff Simon says the trustees will listen to the public at the next meeting and will carefully review the ordinance before they make any decision. Residents are encouraged to visit the township’s website and local newspapers to see when the next special meeting will be held.
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