ARKWRIGHT– This week saw the powering up of the wind turbines in Arkwright, and the area received its first taste of what a wind farm is like when fully operational.
Kellen Ingalls, project manager for EDP Renewables, gave his report to a crowded house at Monday night’s Arkwright town board meeting, stating the obvious, “the turbines are operational. All 36 of them are connected to the grid. We’re waiting to hear back any day now that they accepted power and is declared operational.”
Despite what many deem as good news, others were not impressed.
“We were up at the lean-tos,” Joni Riggles, a concerned citizen stated. “I am so upset, EDP was asked not to put turbines within viewshot by the county planning board. It is a nightmare, a sonic nightmare, a visual nightmare. It sounded like sneakers in a laundromat. The campground is surrounded, it’s a toxic environment. Who’s going to want to camp here?”
Carrie Babcock, an Arkwright resident said, “It’s like jetliners surrounding my house. It’s a form of noise pollution. It’s awful. How can you help me move away from here? How do I get out of here and still have some property value?”
“I could be sitting on my couch reading and all I have to do is barely crack open a window and it sounds like a jet that’s going by that never goes by. We were told by these people everyday that you’ll never know they’re even there, and if you think that’s not a problem, you’re taking money from the windmill people,” Doug Zeller, another resident added.
“What do you want us to do about it?” Councilman Larry Ball asked. “What do you want us to do about it today?”“Take them down,” Riggles voiced.
“That’s not going to happen,” Fred Norton, town supervisor, and others on the board responded.
In response to Riggles’ original question, Norton did note that the county gave a release to the developer allowing them to put their windmills there.
Beyond the noise complaints, a letter from Dorothy Fogelman-Holland was read by her husband, citing issues with cell phone interference. Within the letter she claims that there have been times, no matter the day or to who or what type of phone she calls, she’s unable to make a connection. These incidents are sometimes 11 calls being made consecutively and none of them connecting. She states that the issues started in July and are ongoing. Both she and her husband have spoken with their carrier and the carrier has found no issue with their phones or with the towers.
The problem for her is that she undergoes at home dialysis care, and is in need of a constant outside line in case she was to need emergency services. Fogelman-Holland is concerned that others might be in the same predicament with their phones, and that if someone is unable to make a call to 911 that it could be the difference of a life.
Concern was also raised with health issues the turbines might cause. In response Ingalls reminded citizens that, if there’s a complaint or health issue with them, the company has a hot line on the door of the Arkwright Town Hall that has been up throughout construction. If there is an issue they want to hear about it so that they can address it; those messages are checked every day.