My husband and I are not residents of Cass County but do own a home and property in Bethlehem Township.
My husband loves this area – his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were all raised here. So in 2014, after my husband’s mother passed, we decided to purchase his family’s home from his siblings. As it was quite dated, we invested our time and a great deal of money remodeling. We are now retired and had planned to move to Cass County. However, just like many of the residents living in northern Cass County, we too have concerns about living in an industrial wind turbine project.
Earlier this year, I read an article in which Mr. Sailors said if this project did not move forward, it would not be fair to the property owners who signed up to have a turbine built on their property. But how is it fair to the property owners who did not sign up? It’s quite apparent to anyone who thinks about this, 600- to 800-foot-tall turbines are not just impacting the property owners who signed up for the turbine, but are also affecting the residents who live next to these property owners.
Research shows that residential properties close or next to a wind turbines lose value, cause possible (and more than likely probable) health problems and safety issues and additionally disrupt one’s quality of life with such things as shadow flicker and noise. It is a known fact that wind turbines kill eagles, bats and other birds, and their construction can disrupt the water table and destroy roads. Research also reveals that livestock living close to wind turbines fail to thrive. Probably of less importance, but still worthy of mention, is documentation that rotating wind turbine blades disrupt TV reception.
Up until December of 2017, we had planned to enjoy our retirement years here. However, after we learned that plans are being made to allow an industrial wind turbine project to be built in the northern part of Cass County, I cannot consider moving here. I know I cannot live with a wind turbine 1,000 feet from our home. First and foremost, a wind turbine 1,000 feet from our home, or even 1,500 feet as Mr. Lila proposes, is not safe and is not at a distance that protects us and our health. We would actually be living in the evacuation zone if the turbine malfunctions. Surely the wind turbine setback ordinance for Cass County is not based on scientific evidence for health and safety. Thank heavens I have not sold my current home.
So what do we do? Attempt to sell our newly remodeled home? We are very aware we will assume a huge loss as homes next to wind turbines can be devalued anywhere from 15% to 40%, if we can even sell it. Who wants to live within the parameters of an industrial wind turbine project? Certainly not me! My husband and I unknowingly made a bad decision to purchase his family’s home in Cass County, but unfortunately we had no idea an industrial wind turbine project was even being considered. Our retirement dream and the money we had saved to have this dream are now lost. How can we ever be reimbursed for the money and time we’ve spent to enjoy our retirement years in Cass County?
Respectfully I ask, are you really listening to and trying to understand the concerns of all of your constituents? Do you truly care about all the residents of Cass County? And, are you truly protecting their health, welfare and safety? Even though this project with RES appears very lucrative for you and also for the families who agreed to have a wind turbine built on their property, I ask that you please consider the financial and personal cost for the many families who live in northern Cass County and do not want to live within 1,000 feet of an industrial wind turbine.
Commissioners, I urge you to revisit the current setback distance in Cass County’s wind ordinance to establish a distance that is safe for all residents of northern Cass County.
Lynne Rodgers is a resident of Lucerne.
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