MASON CITY, Ia. – After 18 years of effort, a Mason City business owner is finally installing a wind turbine that will power his large property, though not everyone is happy about the project.
Work began Thursday on the turbine’s installation at wholesale food supplier Carroll Sales, a company Marv Schlutz has owned since 1976. The turbine should be operational by Oct. 31.
“I’ve been talking about this for 18 years,” Schlutz said, as workers poured cement for the foundation. “It’s been a hectic journey.”
From the highest point of one of its blades, the turbine is expected to reach 125 feet. Schlutz said the turbine will produce enough energy to serve his 100,000-square-foot property.
A local business or private property owner can reduce utility costs by using renewable energy methods, Tricia Sandahl, a city planner in Mason City, said.
“For a business, this can offer a significant competitive edge and can make the business more sustainable,” Sandahl said. “For a private property owner, lower utility bills means more money that can be kept in the local economy.”
David Richards, whose mother lives in the neighborhood, said he was concerned about the turbine’s construction because of how close the structure would be to his mother’s home. Richards said his late father and other neighbors fought against its construction several years ago.
The turbine is 250 feet away from the residence, according to Sandahl.
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