Go to any wind project construction site and you will see out of state license plates and unfamiliar faces. These gigantic machines are set up by the original equipment manufacturer in order to meet warranty requirements. Claims of local employment are questionable.
In testimony to Ohio Public Utilities Committee, Van Wert County Township Trustee Milo Schaffner states that they were led to believe that graduates of the Vantage Vocational School who took the Wind Turbine program would be hired and have good paying jobs. That did not happen and the wind company manager even stated, “We hire people who have been trained by the manufacturer of the turbines.” What is more certain is that no one would voluntarily move to these areas to live in a forest of enormous spinning turbines with flashing lights that burn through the night.
As for the money, if a county is up for sale by its commissioners, I’d hope they wouldn’t leave a pile on the table. Testimony in the legislature by chief wind lobbyist, Dayna Baird, indicates the tax is $45,000 per megawatt. Dagger and Everpower want to pay $9,000. Hardin and Logan counties would stand to get $13.5 million instead of $2.7 million. School districts would receive money that could actually make a difference in their budget verses getting a portion of the money they asked for in their last failed levy attempt. (Benjamin Logan Schools last levy asked for $1.375 million each year for a period of 10 years, they will not receive close to that much money from the PILOT, so yes, they will still ask for more money from taxpayers.
So, where does the rest of the money go? To foreign investors.
What a deal.
— Herbert J. Stevenson, Belle Center