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Residents form coalition to stop wind turbine construction

In Madison County, people are fighting stop the construction of more wind turbines.

MidAmerican wants to build turbines just west of Winterset, but some rural residents are opposed to the turbines.

They say these turbines diminish their property values, turn neighbors against each other and are just a plain eyesore.

The Terhaar’s say MidAmerican Energy’s plan to build wind turbines right by their Madison County home could change.

“We feel a little bit like David and Goliath, right?” said Brett Terhaar, who organized a coalition at halting those plans.

“We wanted to be able to see a little bit of the hand of God when we looked out the window, if you will,” said Jeff Adkisson, who lives by the wind turbines.

“From my home, I can see 51 wind turbines,” said Marshall Harpole, a lifelong Madison County resident.

And Rachel Terhaar says enough is enough.

“I also have been really incredulous at how the energy companies operate,” she said. “I don’t know, you might use the word ‘ambush’ a community.”

Right now, MidAmerican pays landowners for the right to build and operate turbines on their land. Kirsti Allen is one of them.

“Maybe they feel it obstructs their vision,” Allen said. “I like them. I call them gentle giants. They keep me company.”

“I just think it helps people around the world, the economy, and especially here in the United States,” she said.

But from potentially diminished property values to the noise, neighbors insist they won’t see a benefit.

“It makes people nauseous, sick,” said Priscilla Toler, a Madison County resident.

“Nothing about these windmills is engineered for the people who deal with them around them,” Adkisson said. “The only thing they’re engineered for is massive profits for those in the game.”

MidAmerican Energy sent KCCI this statement: “We look forward to continuing to work with the County and its residents. MidAmerican Energy sites its wind turbines to minimize their impacts to residences. We proactively engage with neighbors who live near our wind farms, regardless of whether our turbines are on their land.”

The county approved a 90-day-continuance on MidAmerican’s proposal. That’s so the board of adjustments can review its zoning policies.