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Armow wind project opponent applauded by councillors

Armow resident Ashley Duncan received applause and a standing ovation from some councillors following her delegation on the Armow wind development on May 9.

Duncan, who said the majority of landowners within the Armow project parameters are not in favour of wind development, asked that councillors raise the building and entrance permit fees for industrial developers.

Duncan said currently Kincardine charged a Enbridge a building permit fee of $2,500 per turbine, compared to the $35,000 Grey Highlands charges.

“There is no reason not to increase fees,” Duncan said, adding that engineer Bill Palmer calculated the annual profit from one 2.5 MW turbine to equal about $840,000, while Kincardine receives a total of about $240,000 per year from Enbridge.

“This is paltry when compared to the income they are generating from the turbines and as a business,” said Duncan. “We are paying dearly to host these turbines. They can afford to pay more. Make them pay it.”

Duncan also called for an urgent start to ambient noise testing to establish a baseline for comparison. The Ministry of the Environment requires six months of testing.

“It is imperative this is started immediately,” Duncan said. “If it is not, control over noise emitted by these structures which will be nearly 40 stories tall, will be entirely self policed by the wind industry.”

Duncan said the Armow Citizens Group formally submitted questions to Samsung-Pattern in Fall 2011. The group has yet to receive a response to their questions, which asked if extra consideration would be paid to home schools and home businesses in the area and what sort of complaint resolution protocol the company will follow. In early December 2011, Duncan asked to see a draft of the turbine map, adding that she homeschools her children in addition to running a business from home, and would like to immediately begin preparations to sell her family farm if necessary.

“My husband and I were told we could expect answers within one month,” she said. “We were told by the Samsung rep that this project would be different than all of the others, that they would be consulting. And if this project wasn’t different, that he would quit.”

As of May 9, Duncan had not received a response and said she continues to live “in limbo.”

“My five year old son Bob asked me the other day when the ‘bitter end’ will be so we could stop fighting,” she said. “That day is not today, for me or for you. I am standing here once again to ask you to take action and I have outlined 2 ways you could start doing so immediately.”

Councillors Jacqueline Faubert, Mike Legget and Randy Roppel gave Duncan a standing ovation.

“It’s interesting that these corporations, with all this money, can’t find a manager with enough courage to answer a question,” said Councillor Ron Coristine. “I have an argument with business screwing people around. If we can’t keep them from coming, we should charge them.”

Faubert said an email she had sent Samsung Pattern in October 2011 remains unanswered. She also said the Municipality of Kincardine “is not looked on favourably because of our low, low fees. I would like to put out a call to reexamine these fees.”

Councillor Roppel thanked Duncan for her delegation.

“God, you’re good, and truthful,” he said. “The majority of people in the municipality don’t want wind turbines. Should they pay more for coming here? A hell of a lot more. We’ve got to do something, but it can’t just be words.”