After months of ordinance meetings and town hearings, residents voted in the Frankfort wind ordinance in 2011. This process tore at the fabric of the community, pitting neighbor against neighbor. Three years later, despite the town winning a lawsuit confirming the veracity of the town ordinance, Eolian Wind Energy is back, toting an incentive goody bag.
Mount Waldo at 1,060 feet is the centerpiece of Frankfort, if not all of Waldo County. The granite geology makes gauging the effects of noise and light flicker – from 500-foot industrial wind turbines – on the adjacent community guesswork at best. It’s not a monotonous mountain range far from civilization, but it rises up smack dab in the middle of a town and is a flyway for migrating bats and birds.
Eolian wants the residents to rescind the Frankfort wind ordinance and adopt the state wind energy ordinance. The updated state ordinance still does not address the specific nature of the proposed location, nor sufficiently protect the resident’s health, property values and quality of life. The mountain and hillsides and lowlands are owned by a multitude of private land and homeowners who want a say in whether industrial wind turbines are allowed to impact their lives and property. The Frankfort ordinance provides that.
Using innocuous terms like “windmills” and “wind farms” can’t disguise the reality that wind energy is a ruthless business guided by money and greed. I have faith this returning blast of wind won’t hoodwink the Frankfort residents but worry it may tear this small town irreparably in half.
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