FAIRFAX, Vt. – Reggie Johnson loves spending time in his yard. But since the turbines landed near his backyard, he says it’s been difficult to enjoy the outdoors.
“We cherish the moments we have outside. It’s like a kid in a candy shop when you get the opportunity to come out when there’s no noise. It’s a blessed relief,” he said.
Johnson has spent his whole life in Vermont and says the natural beauty keeps him here for life. But in his retirement years, he has spent more time in Florida than anticipated.
“Why should we change our whole life pattern for something that should have been done differently? How much is enough,” Johnson said.
The Georgia Mountain Wind Project has stirred up controversy for years. But for Johnson and his partner, Shirley, it has become an everyday inconvenience worth complaining about.
“Over a long period of time how beneficial are these things? It’s a big question. But I’m certainly not for them, especially how they’re being placed how they are now,” Johnson said.
The Johnsons say they can’t sleep at night and have to resort to the recliner in the living room.
“We just get up automatically without even thinking about it, close the doors and turn the fan on. Our whole life pattern has changed, totally,” Johnson said.
The Milton Independent recently wrote an article saying that Georgia Mountain Community Wind co-owner David Blittersdorf described the people who complain about wind turbine noise as just short of crazy. Blittersdorf says his words were misconstrued.
“It was out of context; I was talking about generally across the state, across the U.S., the opponents to wind are not always grounded in reality. When we talk about facts on sound levels and things that are said that are not true,” Blittersdorf said.
Blittersdorf says he made a visit to Johnson earlier this week to hear the concerns. He says although people like Johnson may not support this project, he stands by the project.
“What do we do? And if the answer is to say no to everything, I’m sorry but my poor kids, we all will have a huge problem,” Blittersdorf said.
But Johnson says although the turbines are in compliance with the state, his experience living with them so close is unbearable. He wishes more people could understand.
“Even though there’s significant data you can get, you have to really experience it,” he said.
And Johnson says if things don’t change, he will continue to complain if necessary. But in the meantime, he plans to stay positive and chip away at his garden.
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