A large number of people were present at the Kingston Courthouse on Thursday evening to voice their opinions on the subject of wind turbines in Caldwell County. Caldwell County currently has a moratorium on any applications on wind turbines until the first part of December.
Two people at the hearing spoke in favor of the wind turbines. Quoting from the 2014 Wind Technology Report prepared for the US Dept. of Energy, David Jensen who lives west of Kingston, reasoned that wind power is clean energy, it reduces the country’s dependence on oil, generates tax income for the county, increases the job market, reduces greenhouse gases and environmental pollution. Jensen said that compared to other noises people hear, wind turbines are not necessarily noisy. “We should not be a county to resist changes based on hearsay,” said Jensen.
A majority of the people who attended spoke up against allowing the turbines in our county. Julia Kisser said that if these turbines were allowed in Caldwell County, they would affect the quality of the life of the people and the landscape of the county for many decades. Significant health impacts from inaudible noise and vibrating sound waves for those living in proximity of the turbines are scientifically proven. Kisser said she is not convinced wind is a good source of energy. They operate only 30% of the time and there’s no way to store the power. They do not generate power when the bulk of power is needed which requires there to be a backup power which is a duplication of energy. Several countries are abandoning industrial wind farms due to their inefficiency and cost of power. “I do not believe that the monetary gain to those that host them or the companies that make billions off government subsidies which come from the taxpayer dollars, should not be at the cost of your neighbors, your community and their health, safety and welfare or livelihood,” said Kisser.
Many people referred to DeKalb County as an example of why turbines should not be allowed in our county, citing that their presence has torn apart the community, pitting neighbor against neighbor and family against family. Decrease in property values are significant. As Jennifer Kisser stated, “No one calls real estate agents looking for property near wind turbines.” Kisser said that 25 landowners host the majority of 155 turbines; that is 1/3 of 1% of the population of DeKalb County who have ruined the lives of thousands.
Scott Sloan, who lives in northwest Caldwell County said, “The tragedy in this whole thing as I see it is that if five of my neighbors want it and I don’t, then I will have to look at them; if I want them and five of my neighbors don’t, then they have to look at them.” DeKalb County can be used as a very good example of neighbors that were really good friends all their lives and are now barely speaking to one another.
Several residents from DeKalb County attended the hearing but were not allowed to speak.
The decision of whether the wind turbines would be allowed will be up to the Planning and Zoning Board and the County Commissioners. A new commissioner will have to be appointed by the Missouri Governor. So far, at least 15 people have sent in applications to the governor for the position and Presiding Commissioner Bud Motsinger said they should hear something around the first of August. Once a person is selected he will serve until the next election 1-1/2 years from now. He would then be up for re-election for a two-year term. At the end of the two-year term, he would have to run again for another four-year term.
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