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Townships look to give a voice to people, approve intervening of wind farm application

On Tuesday, at an emergency meeting, Adams Township approved to intervene in the application process for APEX Clean Energy’s Republic Wind Farm.

If a sworn affidavit is submitted and approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board, who has to approve any wind farm application before construction can begin, the townships’ trustees will be the voice of the people in front of the state.

“They’re going to say the economic impact. They’re going to say what kind of impact it’s going to have on the residents, good, bad or indifferent. They’re going to say what their opinion is as Adams Township,” said Seneca County Assistant Prosecutor, Joshua Clark.

Currently, there are two wind projects in the works in Seneca County: APEX’s Republic Wind Farm and sPower’s Seneca Wind Farm.

APEX has its application submitted and is currently being reviewed.

Representatives from the company were at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We understand that the township wants to be heard during the OPSB permitting process, and we welcome that,” stated APEX’s Nate Pedder.

Many members of the Seneca Anti-Wind Union attended the meeting.

The group already has more than 900 likes on Facebook.

The biggest concerns are decreased property values, the wind turbines effects on nature, and what they believe to have been a lack of communication.

“Maybe I had my head in the sand, but I got a letter in April that talked about a public meeting in a couple weeks after that. That’s the first idea I had at all that the wind turbine projects were planned. In my case, there’s 19 turbines within a mile and a half radius of my house,” said property owner, Greg Smith.

Land owners supporting the project say they’ve been in talks about wind farms for more than a decade.

Some lease their property, earning payments from the company.

“Let alone the income it’s going to bring into the county, into the township, into the school districts, but also looking at the form of electricity that’s coming in and using that renewable resource,” said property owner, Bob Rine.

There will be a town hall hosted by the Seneca Anti Wind Union on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. at the Bloomville Firehouse.