The province has received written support for the Hermanville wind farm from 71 per cent of landowners, but a Clear Springs resident says that result is flawed.
“What Minister Sheridan has done, is he’s taken a very small area in the boundary they’ve defined with these two communities, and he talks about a vote from all the people he’s paying,” Jack MacDonald said.
“For everyone he’s talking about, compensation was offered.”
Nineteen of 25 primary and secondary landowners – those living inside the development zone – signed a land use agreement, as did 22 of 33 tertiary landowners, Finance and Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan said. All those landowners are eligible for compensation, with the exact amount to be determined based on the placement of the turbines.
The minister said he was pleased with the “huge majority.”
The province announced Monday it was proceeding with the project, which is slated to come online next year.
The turbines themselves and infrastructure costs will total $60 million, which will be paid back after a 10-15 year amortization.
The minister expects the wind farm will generate about $2.5 million in profit starting in the first year of operation.
An environmental assessment will be completed around October or November, and it will be presented at another public meeting, Mr Sheridan said.
“We’ve laid out a basic design for them now and they’ll be taking that into account, ensuring that where we want to put the will not cause any environmental angst.”
He said the turbines are important for rural development, and while the government has heard from opponents, “we’ve taken all steps we could possibly do on the south side of the road so the view of the beach and shoreline will not be impeded whatsoever.”
Mr MacDonald said he’s more concerned about the process than the turbines themselves. He argues the community is bigger than just the immediately affected landowners and not all voices have been heard.
He said many landowners haven’t been notified. He wants government to name the landowners who signed and didn’t sign the agreements, “so it’s all open and clear.”
Mr MacDonald doesn’t dispute the claim that the project will create jobs, but he would have expected more from the $60 million project.
“Some people get well paying jobs for a year. Couldn’t we do better than that?”
Mr MacDonald’s view isn’t shared by all, however.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Souris business owner and north side property owner Patricia Ettinger said.
“I’m really happy the local people in the area are getting the windmills. I know Americans are going to be really upset, or the cottage owners are going to be really upset with it, but I’m really happy it’s going forward for the area.”
Unlike some opponents of the turbines, she’s not worried about any adverse health effects.
“I don’t think the health effects from the windmills are going to affect that many people, if there are any health affects. Everything in our society now, even drinking a cup of coffee can affect your health. I’m not concerned about the minimal amount of effects.”
Instead, she’s looking forward to investment in the area, lower electricity rates and badly needed jobs.
“There are so many people that don’t have a job in the area, people are moving out west for work … Most jobs are seasonal here. There are very few full time jobs. And if this is going to affect three families where thy can have their livelihood and stay here, it keeps three fathers home, I think it’s wonderful.”
She also doesn’t think the turbines will hurt the local tourism industry, as she sells many post cards with pictures of wind turbines at East Point.
Julie Shore (not verified) on Wed, 08/15/2012 – 16:55
Title: There is no community support
There is no community support for the wind farm PERIOD.
Mr. Sheridan you cannot take a region on our community and say you have community support. The Community as a whole does not support.
Sheridan says he has his support from 19 of the 22 land owners
Here are the facts folks:
There are 95 parcels of land in Hermanville / Clear Springs
18 are govern’t lots
19 are private land owners that have said yes
58 private land owners that have not been counted
There are people who own property here that are still unaware.
Today I received a phone call from one of my neighbours that lives in Ontario. His letter informing him of the St Margaret’s meeting arrived 2 days after the scheduled meeting.
As for Patricia Ettinger’s comments
“health effects from the windmills aren’t going to affect that many people”
Shame on you. She so freely gives her comments yet she lives in Souris.
I guess it won’t be her health but it will be her pocket.
As for her comments about the “American’s” again Shame on you
This is a prejudice comment and should never have been printed
Maybe you should let your “postcard buying American’s” know how you really feel … oh, wait again your pocket.
Everyone should take a good look at this so called postcard of her windmills. It has a dilapidated house in front of it. This is what I am trying to prevent from happening to Hermanville / Clear Spring
and certainly from happening to my business and home.
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