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Wind dominates commissioners meeting

Despite the fact wind farms were not on Monday’s county commissioners agenda, the debate continued to dominate the meeting.

Proponents and opponents of wind energy stood and had their say at the speakers podium.

Appearing for the first time were the principals of Sugar Creek Wind, which is working in the Darlington area to build a large wind turbine project.

Matt Coffman and his wife, Joy, spoke about the benefits they have experienced in Bureau County, Illinois, with Matt explaining why they selected Montgomery County as a potential site.

“We chose Montgomery County as a wind resource because it has the electrical connectivity that we need running right through the area of our project,” Matt Coffman said. “The second main reason is because it is a no-zoning county. It is tough for a no-zoning county to legislate this type of wind project.”

Joy Coffman told commissioners that Sugar Creek Wind is ready to construct their first wind turbine.

However, Matt Coffman admitted his company would not build one until the commissioners make a final decision on what, if any, revisions will be made to the county wind energy ordinance.

Matt Coffman applauded the citizens for being active in Monday’s meeting.

He said the civil discourse is important and that he respects those who have concerns.

“Hearing from both sides today was good and it is all part of the process,” Matt said. “This is democracy at work.”

Five people spoke in favor of the wind farms and nine spoke against the wind energy projects.

For the first time resident Mariah Mershon spoke at a public meeting against wind turbines. Mershon has plenty of experience speaking in front of government officials about topics she is passionate about. She testified for the last six years in front of Indiana state officials for the legalization of CBD oil usage, which she claims improves the life of her 6-year-old son Jameson, who has autism and whose severe epileptic seizures significantly subside when he is ingesting the oil.

Last week, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill allowing the sale of the hemp product. Now, she wants to help stop wind turbines from dotting the county’s skyline for her son’s health.

“Anything like the flicker to the constant hum of wind turbines will not be good for my son’s health,” Mershon said. “I will fight for him and others who are unable to have a voice in this matter.”

Commissioners have not yet disclosed a timeline for a decision on the matter.