A giant wind turbine that generates power and pumps money into the Akron-Westfield School District is now broken.
The cost to fix it runs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
So what will the district do?
The Akron-Westfield Community School District finds itself in a bit of a catch-22, while the wind turbine stands not moving, it’s costing the district money, but to fix it might cost too much money.
This wind turbine, built in 19-9 is probably one of the most notable landmarks in Akron, Iowa.
It’s older than many of the children in the Akron-Westfield School District.
The district earned $38,000 a year while the turbine generated electricity, but it broke in November.
To fix it, would cost about $150,000.
So the school district will consider selling it.
“Probably the preference would be to keep it on site if we can, because it’s become part of the identity of Akron,” Larry Williams, Akron-Westfield Superintendent.
Dwain Wilmot’s father led the effort to build the wind turbine.
“I used to step out my front door, and look up the street, and I could see it, and I’d say oh yea, the winds blowing out of the South today,” said Wilmot.
Wilmot’s father passed away before any of the problems arose. The turbine’s already been repaired more than once. The district can only repair it with money from the general fund, which has the least wiggle room.
“Do we risk $160,000 against the possibility that we would have a long range return in a year when we’re already having to lay off staff just to make ends meet? It doesn’t up doing that very readily,” said Williams.
Wilmot says his father would understand the situation, but would hope for a solution that could keep the turbine where it is.
“He would be feeling the same way I am. A little disappointed, a little sad, but understanding why things are happening the way they are,” said Wilmot.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding