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Opinions vary in county wind turbine debate  

Credit:  Rensselaer Republican | September 13, 2018 | www.newsbug.info ~~

In response to the Letter to the Editor published in the September 5, 2018 edition, I feel compelled to also submit a letter expressing the opinion of my family. We are a 4th generation family that owns farmland in Jasper County directly in areas where wind turbines are proposed. We also attended the August 27 meeting of the Plan Commission. My family was visited several times by representatives of the wind companies. My family and I thoroughly reviewed the proposed Contract at that time. With open minds and lots of research, we weighed the pros and cons of turbines coming into our community and decided it was not in the best interest of our family or community to sign on. We also found that we were told different things each time, and after being called out on some of their promises, they stopped contacting us. The turbines they propose call for hundreds of yards of concrete and miles of underground conductors. The representatives admitted to us that the company builds and usually sells to other companies within one year, leaving them with no responsibility to maintain and remove structures, potentially leaving a huge mess for the land owner and an eyesore for the community when the turbines expire. The fact that they’re installing conductor cable that will cut through field tile that they claim they will repair, then claim they will remove the cables upon expiration means they will again cut through drainage tile. Several land owners may recall a route along State Road 14 where a large communication cable was removed from farm ground destroying many drainage tiles that they did not repair, leaving land owners to fix them themselves. Now, turbines proposed are to be over twice as large as the ones in Benton County. The weight of the huge equipment needed to install turbines will destroy field tile and county roads. The crane currently being used in neighboring counties has a counterweight of 360 tons, not including the weight of the crane itself. As for the meeting on Aug 27, I appreciate the Chairman taking much of his personal time to investigate opinions and facts from other people who have been living around wind turbines. In my opinion, it was not an anti-wind propaganda video, it was a combination of opinions and facts. I appreciate that the Plan Commission has been holding meetings at the fairgrounds so that citizens can attend meetings on this issue. It gives everyone an opportunity to see our officials at work and give and hear opinions. This is much better than trying to attend meetings in the courthouse meeting room, as the courthouse has been overcrowded in the past. Everyone who wanted to speak was allowed a turn. Just because the majority in attendance have their views on the subject and want to applaud someone’s comments and opinion is no cause to call it “mob rule” and if writer noticed, after the Plan Commission made its decision for the evening, the “mob” did quietly and politely fold and put away all the chairs provided for the meeting.

At the meeting the Chairman repeatedly asked board members for comments, opinions and concerns with very little response from the board. The proposed changes in the ordinance were discussed and noted and, upon completion of review of the ordinance, the board tabled further discussion until the next meeting to allow more time to research the information and review all the proposed changes. If they would have voted on each change proposed individually, the meeting would have gone well into the night and they would not have had time to research changes. I feel they made the proper choice and feel they will make a final recommendation to the commissioners at the next meeting. Yes, there were opinions at the meeting, but the video did explain things to the community that were facts. One of which is listed below: As of July 23, 2018, information regarding large industrial wind turbines in several Indiana county zoning ordinances:

Allen County: banned industrial wind turbines.

Boone County: banned industrial wind turbines.

Clinton County: moratorium on commercial wind development.

Delaware County: 150 ft. height restriction for wind turbines.

Fulton County: banned industrial wind turbines.

Marshall County: banned industrial wind turbines.

Miami County: 2,000 ft. setbacks to property lines and roads.

Noble County: 3,960 ft. setbacks.

Rush County: 2,300 ft. setbacks to property lines.

Tipton County: 2,640 ft. setbacks.

Wabash County: 3,960 ft. setbacks, zero shadow flicker, 32 dBA noise limit.

Wayne County: Banned industrial wind turbines.

Wells County: Banned industrial wind turbines.

Whitley County: 2,640 ft. setback or 6.5 X height of tower, whichever is greater, decommissioning money up front (no bonds allowed).

Pulaski County: Plan Commission just sent recommendation to Commissioners to ban wind turbines.

Jasper County: still has 1000-foot setbacks

I hope the Plan Commission and Commissioners will see the damage that turbines would do to county, farmland, roads and families for years to come and that they will take into consideration the fact that the majority of other counties’ officials see and care about the future of their county and its citizens. Our family, along with many other farmers, would like to see the county ban wind turbines, but at the very least agree to the changes proposed to the existing ordinances, as this affects our livelihood and property values. Many drive down the interstate in awe of the massive structures they see along the side of the road; however, they don’t live by them and aren’t affected by noise, flicker, decreased property values and overall negative impact they have on the lives of those around them. The homes will decrease in value and fewer people will want to live in or move to Jasper County. Land owners considering signing on with the wind company should take into consideration the quality of life for their neighbors, not just the additional income and thoroughly research the impact it will have on their own lives as well. Again, everyone is entitled to their opinion; this is my family’s opinion.

Steve Clapp

Source:  Rensselaer Republican | September 13, 2018 | www.newsbug.info

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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