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Holland: Dairy Air wind consultants hold open house

HOLLAND – About three dozen people gathered early Thursday evening to hear presentations about the plan to put up a single industrial-sized wind turbine on a dairy farm in Holland.

The open house at the school drew Kim and Bryan Champney of Dairy Air Farm, who hope to host the nearly 500-foot wind turbine proposed by developer David Blittersdorf under the name Dairy Air Wind.

Martha Staskus with Vermont Environmental Research Associates said the open house was what the project leaders promised they would provide once they had enough information about the project plans to share with the community.

Residents received post cards inviting them to attend the event. Others heard about it through word of mouth and also attended. It was mostly cordial except for some testy words between supporters and critics, according to several participants.

Consultants working for Blittersdorf presented information about a slew of details involving the project.

One of the displays that drew the most interest at first was the map that shows the proximity of homes to the wind turbine site. The four closest homes are on the farm itself owned by the Champneys.

Other homes are 2,000 to 4,000 feet from the turbine site.

Another map shows how the view shed of the turbine stretches across Holland into nearby Quebec. Holland is much higher in elevation than the land to the north across the U.S.-Canadian border.

However, unlike a now-defunct wind turbine project that was planned for a farm right on the U.S.-Canadian border in Derby, this turbine on Dairy Air Farm is more than a mile from the border.

Holland Elementary School is more than a mile to the south of the proposed wind turbine site.

Consultants talked with local and area residents about studies showing impacts on property values, sound and environmental issues.

Staskus said that the only environmentally sensitive area near the wind turbine site is a class III wetland on a roadside in the area, which won’t be affected.

The developer has sought a certificate of public good for a wind test tower on the property from the Vermont Public Service Board.

The developer has yet to apply for a certificate for the wind turbine.

Staskus said the application is awaiting the completion of some studies. She said the application could be filed sometime before the end of the year.

In Holland, the select board organized a survey of all voters and town property owners about how they feel about a large wind turbine on a Holland farm. Two selectmen are opposed to the project. One is waiting to see what voters and property owners think about it.

Responses have been collected and are waiting in the town vault to be opened Nov. 7 by the Holland Board of Civil Authority, according to town Clerk Diane Judd.