As a rural homeowner (not a city person) who was invited to live in beautiful Tipton County by a farmer with their creation of our small residential area, I don’t believe it is about telling farmers what they can do with their land. It is about ensuring the safety and well-being of all who would be living near the industrial turbines and to ensure that any economic boost to the area does not come at the stark expense of rural homeowners who have their life savings invested in their homes.
I am not against wind turbines as a whole when properly sized and located, and the citizenry properly protected. And as an academic librarian, I am well-versed in information evaluation. I understand the difference between research funded by the wind industry and peer-reviewed research done by independent academics in the last two years such as “Values in the Wind” (Heintzelman, Tuttle 2012) which determined “that nearby wind facilities significantly reduce property values in two of the three counties studied” over a nine-year period in New York. And Havas and Colling in their work, “Wind Turbines Make Waves: Why Some Residents Near Wind Turbines Become Ill” (2011), who determined there is indeed a negative effect for some residents due to noise, infrasound and poor power quality.
This is a rapidly evolving area of research, and as Rob Rupe, Sharpsville council member stated, let’s be sure we understand all the implications before making this 20-year commitment that irrevocably changes the lives of both farm residents and rural homeowners.
While the commissioners and planning commission have worked hard, new information in this field makes it prudent to take this opportunity to reconsider. I urge the Tipton City Council to table the tax abatement and give the citizens of Tipton County further opportunity to review and understand the long-term effects of this decision and to update the protective ordinance.
And I also urge the newly- mindful residents to assist in resolving funding issues for our schools. I know I plan to.
Kirsten Leonard, Sharpsville
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