Iowa is a leader in the wind energy industry, yet Black Hawk County has denied past proposals from companies looking to bring the industry here.
Now, another company is proposing a wind farm in southern Black Hawk County.
RPM Access of De Soto, Iowa has several wind farms throughout the state and is now working on plans to put between 30 and 40 wind turbines south of Waterloo.
Southern Black Hawk County, rooted in agriculture, where people’s closest neighbors are fields away.
RPM Access is looking to fill that horizon with wind turbines.
But for some residents like Wayne McGarvey, who is a third generation farmer on his land, “I am going to be looking at them, any direction I look. As you can see, I’ve got a very good view here. Everybody marvels at my view when they come in this house. That view is not going to be what I like if they are built.”
The wind farm could possibly decrease the value of the land and create some health concerns.
Those are worries that Tom Leohr, a landowner in the area, shares.
One of their concerns is shadow flicker, named for the flashes of light created by turbines on a sunny day.
“Some turbine companies have put up new drapes for people, but it creeps through every crack. It messes with people’s heath and equilibrium . . .and people are packing up and moving. You know, Black Hawk County is all I’ve known,” said Tom Leohr.
But right now, there is no official plans filed with the county for where the turbines will be built. The company is working to get landowner approval.
McGarvey says he was approached and given a copy of the agreement land owners would have to sign.
“There is 10 different easements you are signing when you sign that easement. Of course they don’t give you a copy of that easement to look over before you sign it. The people that I know that have signed it; at least the four people I have talked to said, ‘No, they never saw a copy of the easement,'” said McGarvey.
KWWL has reached out to RPM Access several times and have yet to hear back from them.
The Black Hawk County Board of Adjustments will have to approve any plans for a wind farm.
Official plans have not yet been submitted to the county.
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