Municipality of Kincardine council has decided it is no longer a “willing host” for industrial wind turbines.
The motion came at the May 1, 2013 meeting of council.
The night’s agenda stated the decision was made after citizens had submitted concerns over turbines and research done by Grey Bruce Health Unit medical officers of health, Dr. Hazel Lynn and Dr. Ian Arra, which indicates that wind turbines have a “definite human annoyance” on nearby residents.
It noted the resolution should be circulated to the Minister of Environment, Minister of Energy, Minister of Rural Affairs, the MPP Lisa Thompson and Premier Kathleen Wynne, as well as all Ontario municipalities for their support.
The decision came moments before Jody Law, of Pattern Energy, presented council information about the 43 turbines that will impact the Kincardine Municipal Airport.
He said five approaches and one departure procedure will be affected by the current layout.
Law brought Charles Cormier, a senior consultant about aviation, to explain the changes needed to keep all turbines and have no impact on the airport.
“My priority is always to protect the effectiveness of that airport,” said Cormier.
Cormier explained to council the issues were “very technical” but he created a plan to change flight paths and turbine heights in order to have the airport fully functional.
“The changes to the approaches that I have proposed can be flown by any qualified IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) pilot,” said Cormier.
If his plan is used, he said all approaches and departures to the airport will be maintained and two approaches will be improved.
Councillor Ron Coristine said he was worried about hampering future expansion of the airport and long-term implications.
“Turbines get bigger, planes get bigger, runways need to be longer,” he said.
Councillor Jacqueline Faubert said, “What we fear is that these changes, this proposal, is going to affect the health and vitality of our airport, therefore, our tax payers.”
She said she believes NAV Canada will approve Comier’s changes, adding, “Do we allow companies to come in and change our municipal infrastructure to adapt things to allow for this type of industry?”
Deputy MayorAnne Eadie sat in for Mayor Larry Kraemer who was absent for the meeting.
She said the situation was “awkward” after news about the letter Pattern-Samsung received from NAV Canada a year ago, without notifying council.
“We don’t want to be limiting our airport in any way for the next 20 to 40 years,” said Eadie, adding, “We want to make sure it remains as financially and economically viable as in the past.”
Law said he was “disappointed” about the previous motion against wind turbines but wanted to continue to work with council.
After NAV Canada has looked over Cormier’s proposal, Cormier and Law agreed they will alert council.
Council voted to meet with various airport management and pilots who use the airport regularly over the next two weeks.
“I think it’s important to hear their expertise,” said Eadie.
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