The residents of the Rural Municipality of South Qu’Appelle have had their say on a proposed wind turbine farm in the area – but still wait to hear what council will decide.
Some residents do not want a wind farm, like Renalda Pickering.
She believes such projects can negatively affect the health of humans and animals. There are also safety issues associated with such structures like ice build up.
However, others in the RM support the idea of harvesting wind energy, including the landowners who have signed land-leasing agreements with the company behind the proposed project. Tuesday night, the council hosted a public meeting in McLean to obtain information from ratepayers in regards to the wind turbine farm.
Pickering was pleased council gave the ratepayers a chance to have their input about the project.
Reeve Jeannie DesRocher was equally happy with the meeting.
“Everyone had a chance to speak,” she said. “There was a good back and forth.”
At the end of the meeting no one was left at the microphone waiting to be heard, DesRocher said.
Pickering hopes the issue will be resolved soon because it has “torn the fabric of our community.”
“Sadly there has been a lot of conflict,” she said. “It has pit neighbours against neighbours.”
DesRocher said the council will take into consideration everything presented by both sides before making a final decision at its next regular council meeting on March 5 in McLean.
“Personally, I am concerned about us making calls about what a landowner can or cannot do in regards to whether he can farm the land and the wind or just the land,” she said. “I believe it’s the landowners choice to do this. The biggest thing is that it doesn’t affect people right beside him.”
DesRocher supports a wind farm and wind energy in general, based on her research.
“But that’s me,” she said.
“I am not speaking for the RM. I am speaking for me.”
Pickering said during the meeting, some RM residents proposed a non-binding motion that ratepayers were opposed to the wind farm and were opposed to any amendment in the bylaws that would allow the construction of test towers or wind turbines in the municipality.
“The people were very clear in what they want and they don’t want a wind farm,” said Pickering.
DesRocher said it was important for council to hear from the general population.
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