On Tuesday, Aug. 7 over 160 people attended the Henry County Planning Commission Hearing regarding the new proposed WECS ordinance. There were 44 people who spoke, all of whom were against the wholly inadequate WECS standards being proposed. Significantly, not one person spoke in favor of industrial turbines in Henry County. During that 3.5 hours of testimony the planning commission was given overwhelming scientific and economic data regarding health dangers, negative economic consequences, property rights, groundwater contamination and other concerns. The result:
Health dangers: irrelevant.
Declining property values: irrelevant.
Declining new home construction: irrelevant.
Walling off Henry County from future prosperity: irrelevant.
Population decline and exodus from industrial turbine counties: irrelevant.
Permanent restrictions on non-participating landowner’s land: irrelevant.
Groundwater contamination: irrelevant.
Negative impact to pets, livestock, wildlife, and crop production: irrelevant.
Despite overwhelming evidence, the planning commission chose to make NO recommendations to protect the citizens of Henry County. It was, pure and simple, a dereliction of duty. If it “isn’t their job” to protect our citizens, then clearly something is critically wrong.
I’ve heard many people who live in New Castle who feel industrial turbines won’t affect them, so they don’t care. Nothing could be further from the truth and, in fact, New Castle will be the biggest loser if industrial turbines blanket the county.
Like most smaller communities in Henry County New Castle will also be surrounded by 500 feet tall turbines. With no room to grow outward, how will New Castle ever expand? Who will ever want to move to, or live in, New Castle surrounded by hundreds of red blinking lights obliterating the night skyline? How will New Castle merchants survive with a 20-30 percent decline in the county’s population? How can New Castle possibly attract enough skilled labor to live under an industrial turbine zone? The skilled labor shortage is already acute, this will exacerbate the problem. If industrial turbines are approved New Castle is about to become the county seat of a dying county.
If Mayor York and the city council truly understood the gravity of allowing industrial turbines to surround their city, they would be giving orders to our commissioners to stand down, cease and desist. If the citizens of New Castle understood how their lives, and community were about to irrevocably change, they would show up at the courthouse by the thousands. That might be the only thing that could stop three commissioners from disobeying the wishes of the vast majority of their constituents.
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