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Wind project will destroy local communities

Perquimans County has a proud history of family and friendships. It’s proud of the accomplishments of graduates of our schools, its farming heritage and the natural beauty of the county. On Wednesday and Thursday night of this week a quasi-judicial hearing was held at the Perquimans Courthouse Annex to decide if a wind turbine project will be allowed to erect 600-foot turbines in the Bear Swamp area of the county.

My concern is that large companies or developers come into an area like Perquimans County and encourage people to sign a lease with the promise of making easy money. These leases have confidentially agreements in them, hence the signee cannot discuss their “landfall” with neighbors, family, or friends.

In Perquimans County, six leases have been signed, according to public records at the county Register of Deeds office. Weyerhaeuser, a timber company based in Oregon, is one of them.

Across the United States this has happened many times. The whole story is never shared by the developer. In small rural communities similar to Perquimans County disaster follows. Neighbors get mad with each other and destroy generations of friendship, families often get on the opposite sides – some wanting the turbines and some not wanting them near their homes – and those people not near the projects thinking everything is fine as long as the turbines are not near their home. This is happening in Perquimans and Chowan counties as I write this letter.

To get the feel of how communities can be destroyed, find the documentary “Windfall” on line and see what has happened elsewhere. No amount of money is worth what this project is doing to the soul of the two counties. A petition was presented to the Perquimans County Board of Commissioners with almost 1,000 signatures opposing the wind turbine project.

The town of Hertford is close enough to the proposed project that property values will most likely drop. The closest turbine is planned less than a mile from Hertford Grammar School.

Tommy Harrell

Hertford