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Protestors speak out about a Tuscola County wind turbine project

A plan to put up new wind turbines in Tuscola County has some community members angry. Monday, Invenergy – the company looking to build the turbines – held an open house to talk about the proposed development.

The company was met by unhappy protestors who say they are upset because they haven’t been given much information about the plan.

“Right now, we don’t know anything,” said Mark Burkitt, a resident of Denmark Township.

Burkitt was among about 20 people who stood in the wind, rain and cold with signs to show their disapproval of the plan. The county is already home to dozens of wind turbines.

“I am already becoming surrounded by the turbines in Bloomfield Township and Gilford Township. I count 33 completed turbines to the west of my house. I can see them right outside my kitchen window. There are going to be 60 plus turbines to the east of my house and I want to keep my township free of turbines,” said Margaret Countegan, of Denmark Township.

Burkitt says he’s afraid the new turbines could be dangerous for the community.

“The reason we are so concerned is because of the health safety welfare of our residents and the closer they are to our homes and businesses, the greater the concerns.”

Invenergy officials say the new wind project is still in the early stages.

“We are still working with land owners in terms of where it can be placed,” said Kevin Parzyck, the vice president of development at Invenergy.

He says that’s why the company can’t answer every question at this time, but they held the open house in hopes of easing the communities concerns.

“What we would like to be able to do is discuss the facts about wind, the pluses and the minuses, what it can bring to a community, but the most important thing is that we are not trying to hide anything,” Parzyck said.

If Invenergy goes ahead with the plan to build turbines in Tuscola County, it will be the Chicago-based company’s second facility in Michigan. A wind farm in Gratiot County began operations earlier this year.