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Over 75 municipalities don’t want wind turbines in their backyard and with the Green Energy Act taking away their power to keep them away, some councils are getting creative.
Municipality of West Grey Mayor Kevin Eccles says “The community at large, the vast majority is basically an unwilling host of wind turbines.”
Still a wind company wants to build 14 turbines near Durham. So to deter them West Grey council wants a $100,000 bond per turbine to cover any potential damage caused by the machines.
“With this we’ve just asked for securities, because of not knowing what damage it is going to cause on our road allowance, things like that.” Eccles says.
Meanwhile in Kincardine, council says they will take $100,000 in tax revenue from a proposed wind farm to conduct their own noise and health studies.
Ron Coristine, councillor with the Municipality of Kincardine, says “We don’t have any recourse to stop them legally, at this point in time, so we’re going to do everything we can to be safe, to ensure safety for people.”
Other muncipalities are doing their best to deter wind development.
In Bluewater, council is looking for nearly $400,000 in fees per turbine, while a group of residents near Seaforth want their council to declare themselves an unwilling host, in hopes wind companies look elsewhere.
But those in support of wind power say this short-sighted war over wind may not be worth it and could cost rural Ontario a valuable opportunity.
Connor Miltenburg says “Wind turbines bring new jobs and a diversity of jobs into the area, right now it’s a small farming community and either you’re a farmer, you’re a mechanic, carpenter or electrician.”
Wind companies, for their part, say they’ll fight the fees proposed in West Grey and Bluewater in court if they have to.
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