For months now, citizens of Henry County have been inundated with wind energy facts and data from both sides of the wind energy debate. We have been warned of health hazards, wildlife catastrophes, and economic stagnation or decline where wind turbines exist. We have been promised school subsidies and road improvements, to entice us to join the Big Wind team. Who really benefits from these 500-plus-feet monstrosities? Land owners who lease their property, as well as the wind companies who collect big government subsidies. Who pays the price? We all do.
Our Henry County government put together a committee to study responsible wind setbacks for our county, and the Henry County WECS Committee was born. Instead of protecting our county’s property owners and our future growth, this committee passed wind setbacks exactly as the wind turbine company wanted. This recommendation decreased our setbacks from 1,500 feet to 1,250 feet.
Thursday at 6 p.m., the Henry County Planning Commission will allow time to hear from the public, and then vote whether to accept the (inadequate) recommendation from our WECS Ordinance Review Committee. Some points that we need to consider:
Noise – Wind turbines and homes never mix well. If you think a mile setback is a long distance for infrasound to travel, think again.
Decommissioning – Wind developers are in a highly speculative and unsustainable industry that is essentially a house of cards. To guarantee that someone is going to clean up the blight, you must require a performance bond and you must mandate that the landowner is ultimately responsible for decommissioning. These two requirements should be in every wind ordinance.
Don’t let your property value be stripped away by those few who will benefit in a big way. Make your presence known and your voice heard before it is too late.
Gerri Shewmaker, Daleville
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