A meeting next week on the Flatrock Wind Project may determine the fate of Rush County, according to Stu Linville, a wind farm protester, so to speak.
Linville, along with several others, formed an LLC in hopes to bring education and awareness to Rush County.
“We actually formed an LLC, Rush County Wind Awareness, and we do have legal representation to give us some legal guidance along this route,” Linville said in an interview. “Many of us have heard talk of wind for a couple years here and there, but really nothing, it was always just talk. Then, all the sudden people were leasing their land, getting letters from APEX and maps were put together. It just seemed like one day we woke up and boom, APEX had already done a lot of groundwork. They haven’t done anything illegal at all, but we weren’t informed.”
Linville explained RCWA is a group that was formed to help the community and to try to bring awareness to the project which has a very large impact on the county.
“Our group was formed to basically bring awareness to the community. APEX isn’t going to tell you any of the negative things that come along with it. In fact, if there are any known negative things and they will make them out like they are nothing,” Linville added.
Linville and his group members are concerned that residents have not done their homework on the wind project.
Linville also stated that his group formed very quickly and they are learning and educating themselves.
“We are forming relationship with other like-minded groups in Fayette and Henry County. They are forming their own groups, but we also want to have a communication network between all of us,” Linville said.
As far as being against wind farms, Linville and many others have several reasons why they don’t want wind farms in the area.
“There are several reasons and not in any particular order of importance,” Linville said. “People have reasons for living where they live. I live in the country because there is more room, you can enjoy the scenery, quiet evenings and enjoy going out and looking at the stars. That is one of the reasons why I moved to the country, the quiet. We didn’t move out there to have a boat-load of gigantic wind turbines around our home. You’re going to be able to see these things for miles, not only during the day but the night. We have done a lot of research online and have learned that you will hear these turbines during the day, but more so at night. There are esthetics that are going to destroy the view and landscaping of the countryside.”
Another large concern is health, which some argue has not been proven to be a factor.
“Other concerns we have heard in the group are health issues. Supposedly, the shadow flickering can bring on epilepsy attacks. There are cases of sleep deprivation and sounds that can cause problems,” Linville said.
An independent study done for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (www.mass.gov) along with the National Society of Epilepsy (http://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/) contradict the claims of any relationship between shadow flickering and seizures.
Another issue is land value.
“The farms that these wind turbines will be on, it will increase their value, they are absolutely right. For me though, who has six acres, it’s going to destroy it,” Linville said. “There is a difference between what studies say and common sense tells you. If someone is looking to purchase a house to buy and there are two similar houses but one has a wind turbine, which do you think they would buy? There is no question.
“It is going to decrease property value any potential growth in that area. Let’s say a farmer decides to section off his property for his child. Do you think those kids would want to live on that farm with a wind turbine? We talk about this wind farm and all the millions of dollars it will bring in and how great it will help the schools, we need to really focus on how to bring people into the community. We need to keep our schools grow by bringing people to the community, not wind turbines. Any growth is really going to be hurt in the areas where the turbines are.”
Linville explained that not only is land in northern Rush County being looked at, but also another company may be looking at land around Milroy, rumor says.
“Our county leaders really need to look at not the big dollar signs, but the overall growth of Rush County over the long haul. They just need to really figure out if the cost is going to outweigh the benefits of getting these turbines. I think our group would agree,” Linville said.
“You hear a lot of people talk about going to a wind farm, turned the car off and sat there, it wasn’t that bad. The way I look at it is you can handle talking with somebody next to a grain bin that is running for a time, but imagine doing it 24/7 on your property. You can compare it to driving by a hog confinement for a few minutes; you can handle it for a few, but you wouldn’t want to live with the smell 24/7,” Linville added.
With the project coming to Rushville, it of course is stirring up a lot of controversy that Linville is worried about.
“I pray this county doesn’t get in a bitter Civil War between people; I just want to keep this all about the wind turbines. I am going to fight very hard to get this stopped, but I harbor nothing towards anyone. The county leaders need to look at this and determine whether or not they want money now or do they want to look for ways to bring people into our county,” Linville added.
“Everyone needs to be educated; we educate ourselves and try to educate others. We started a website and people can join it or visit the page. We have had many people email us from Fayette, Henry and all over. We post not only our meetings, but their meetings as well. We want to build this up and give people the chance to learn and research. I don’t have a problem with people wanting this. I just want them to know what they are getting and what everyone else is getting. We need to look at this like a family or neighbor type thing. I wouldn’t want to impose something on them that would cause any problems,” Linville said.
For more information, visit http://www.myworldmytown.com/rushcowind.