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Letter: Stark County needs to fix wind ordinances

The thought of having my farmstead ruined by a wind farm that benefits a few landowners, who for the most part don’t live here and won’t have to put up with the constant nuisance, is unbelievable.

It’s not their family that has to put up with the nightmare. Their families will get a few bucks and spend it wherever they live – which, in most cases, isn’t here.

What makes this so hard to believe is the county’s wind ordinances don’t help the residents of Stark County. The current ordinances are a big benefit to the wind companies. Weak ordinances are what they want, and that is what Stark County has given them.

Russ Hoff can give all the “yada, yada, yada,” about the county’s ordinances being the strongest in the state. But Russ, if they don’t protect the residents’ property values and allow a nuisance, then they aren’t tough enough. These are far from fair.

By having the turbine setback be from an individual’s residence instead of a property line allows the person who wants a wind tower to use the person’s land who doesn’t want one. It is destroying our chance to enjoy our own property for how we intended to use it. Our property gets used for something we don’t want and our neighbor gets the money. Is that fair? As Trump would put it, “That’s stupid!”

From a hill by my property, I can see the new Hettinger wind farm about 50 miles away. So, the residents of Dickinson won’t have to wait for the Fourth of July for bright, blinking lights in the sky. They’ll get to see them for the rest of their lives. Just one of the nice gifts from the wind farms. And I forgot to mention higher electric rates!

According to a Forbes article on Oct. 17, 2014, “The wind power industry claims switching from conventional power to wind power will save consumers money and spur the economy. However, data from the top 10 wind power states show just the opposite. From 2008 to 2013, electricity prices rose an average of 20.7 percent in the top 10 wind power states, which is seven-fold higher than the national electricity price increase of merely 2.8 percent.”

Elected officials need to keep those of us in mind who don’t receive compensation from the wind farms. We get depressed property values and shattered dreams. Fix the ordinances!

Pat Praus,