September 13, 2012

Chance to discuss wind turbine proposal Sept. 13

By Sarah Junkin | The Cochrane Times | 12 September 2012

A group of Cochrane Heights residents will finally have the opportunity to talk to local school board officials and administration about an issue that’s been troubling them for months.

Some neighbours who live near Cochrane High School are concerned about the possible impact of a proposed wind turbine which could be erected on the west side of the school.

The Evance R9000 turbine would be set up approximately ten feet from the gymnasium, and some local residents are concerned that the noise level and sheer size of the contraption could negatively affect their overall quality of life, as well as their property values.

The turbine would be erected on a free-standing monopole tower.

“It’s shocking to see the size of this thing,” said Brenda Samborski, chair of the residents’ group who’s been trying to keep the turbine out of her neighbourhood. “This ginormous 60 foot turbine will be in every window in our house.”

The residents’ group has been meeting since April to put together a petition, distribute information and try to talk to school officials, members of the Cochrane High Sustainable Development Committee, and Rocky View Schools’ trustees, with whom they say communication has been difficult.

“The problem is that throughout this whole process they haven’t seemed to show any interest in our feelings,” said Brenda Samborski. “It would be nice if they would hear our perspective. We’re not feeling very respected.”

Samborski was reluctant to say exactly how many residents are involved in her group.

She said she was pleased to finally receive notice of a Sept. 13 public meeting at the high school.

An email from Rocky View Schools’ associate superintendent of business operations Darrell Couture has invited the public to attend an information session which he said would last approximately 15 minutes with ample time to answer questions and state concerns.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the school’s Lyceum.

Rocky View Schools board chair and Cochrane area representative Dr. Bruce Pettigrew, and rural Cochrane trustee Colleen Munro are both expected to attend the meeting.

Samborski said she’s sure the meeting would not have been set up without pressure from her group.

“I personally emailed Bruce Pettigrew five times to meet with us before this invite was sent out,” she said, adding she’s called him numerous times as well, but that he’s not responded to her messages. “I’m just saying I think we should all respect each other but they went ahead and submitted their permit application without talking to us.”

But Pettigrew said he wasn’t intentionally ignoring Samborski or her group.

“We did have two meetings in the spring,” he said. “The problem then becomes the summer when people are away.”

Pettigrew added he’s unaware of Samborski’s attempts to contact him.

“I don’t remember emails from her,” he said. “But just to be clear, there are filters, because if I don’t recognise a name or a topic, I don’t look at the email. That’s just me, the way I am.”

Pettigrew said he and Munro would be attending the meeting as observers.

“The process is going through the town and the planning commission and so on,” he explained. “We and the school want people to know exactly what’s going on and clarify that information. The point is that it’s a learning process.”

Cochrane High’s Sustainable Development Committee is an award-winning group that’s long been a champion of projects that focus on energy, water consumption, and waste reduction.

[rest of article available at source [1]]

URL to article:

URLs in this post:

[1] rest of article available at source: