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Opposition to wind farm development gains momentum near Indian Lake

BELLE CENTER, Ohio – A proposed wind farm is now at the center of a controversy that’s pitting neighbors against neighbors. With dozens of turbines expected to go up in Hardin and Logan counties later this year, the debate is gaining intensity.

Developer Everpower plans to begin putting up between 90 and 176 wind turbines in the fall.

But as with most big projects like this, there is opposition. And in this case, the other side is doing all they can to gain momentum.

Kelly Campbell’s home isn’t even a year old and it’s built on a private cove connected to Indian Lake.

“It’s country out here. We see all forms of wildlife, deer and turtles and blue herons everywhere,” Campbell said.

And soon, from her yard, she’ll see the wind turbines. The Scioto Ridge Wind Farm will cross 180 acres of the two counties.

Campbell is part of a group called Logan-Hardin Neighbors United. They are adamantly against the project and have been posting signs across the area to rally support.

“My view will forever be destroyed and it’s not just about the view,” says Campbell. “We probably don’t have time to get into potential health effects, the sound, the infrasound.”

Another concern is dropping property values. Project manager Jason Dagger says that shouldn’t be an issue and that other areas with wind farms haven’t had that problem.

“Folks are concerned that these wind turbines are right on top of their homes,” says Dagger. “That is not the case; this is one of the most conservatively permitted wind farms in Ohio.”

Dagger says each turbine is about a quarter of a mile away from all non-participating homes, which should also ease the noise concerns. He also says a recent survey shows that just 16 percent of people are against the project. Now, the only way to stop them would be if Logan County Commissioners don’t grant them a tax exemption.

The wind farm construction is set to start this fall, with the entire project up by 2015. Everpower says it will bring in $2.7 million a year in tax revenue.