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West Elgin ready for wind turbine meeting

West Elgin council is ready to listen to what its residents have to say on industrial wind turbines.

Council reviewed a staff report summarizing different chapters of the industrial wind turbine debate as it prepares to host a public meeting, July 29, 7 p.m. at the Rodney Legion.

The report by Clerk Norma Bryant, appears to have been triggered by a response by the proponent of the Elgin Wind Farm Project, RES Canada, asking the municipality to reconsider a resolution passed in 2013 declaring itself an unwilling host for wind turbines.

In an information package provided to council in June, RES claims to have addressed each issue in council’s original resolution declaring itself an unwilling host.

Because of the way Ontario’s Green Energy Act was written, stating it was an unwilling host was one of the few options available to municipalities opposed wind turbines.

Since then, West Elgin has also consulted Lawyer Eric Gillespie, who specializes in wind turbine cases. Based on his advice council passed a bylaw regulating wind turbine noise.

The report also reviews a proposed vibrancy fund should West Elgin decide to support the wind farm project which would pay $3,000 per megawatt per year to be used for community benefit.

Council has asked that written questions for the meeting be submitted by July 24 to the municipal office.

Options for council after the public meeting, at its Aug. 15 council meeting will be: leave the original resolution as passed; confirm that same resolution; overturn the resolution and support being a willing host or some other action arising from next week’s public meeting.