Mark your calendars for Jan. 11, 2012 at 4 p.m. for a very important township planning commission meeting at the township hall in Richville. A Wind Ordinance for both residential and industrial wind turbines is on the agenda. This matter will probably be one of the most important decisions in our history. I have learned that we must let our planning commission know what concerns us before the ordinance is adopted, otherwise it will be “too bad, so sad.” A wind ordinance can be amended, but it will not affect the details of an existing ordinance. It’s very crucial that it’s done right the first time. Several things trouble me within our township. Many of our residents feel their voice doesn’t matter. I disagree. Our township officials want your input, but many of us are not motivated to give it to them.
In regards to wind turbine farms, this attitude exists because everything is kept so quiet. Why, I can only speculate. Only the large property owners who are negotiating leases seem to have this information and they’re not talking. At a recent meeting one of the trustees requested facts, he needs facts, to support concerns that were raised. When will we, the other taxpaying residents, get the facts?
If wind turbines are such a great concept, why is everything so secretive? We all deserve an equal opportunity to be included in this very important matter. I’m concerned that some township leaders view the anticipated wind development tax revenue as a “windfall” or a type of magic pill to help offset other revenue losses. That was before a recent State Tax Commission’s decision to change the depreciation schedule for wind developments, which results in a 27% revenue decrease. That was also kept quiet.
In my opinion, the proposed ordinance is too lenient. What will the safe distance be around Reese and Richville and the public and private airplane runways? Will the safe distances be measured from a dwelling or a property line? How will wind turbines blend with recent investments to our water and sewer projects? Property value decreases, shadow flicker and noise/ground vibration are just a few of the many important items to be considered.
Many of our friends and neighbors in other townships learned the hard way. Please spread the word and attend this meeting before it’s too late.
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