I was raised in Jasper County. I still live in Jasper County and farm with my husband who was also born and raised in Jasper County. Our son and daughter-in-law also farm and reside in Jasper County. All of us are concerned citizens and landowners in Jasper County.
I would like to offer this rebuttal to Mr. Steve Hurley’s opinion piece in the Saturday, Sept. 5, 2018 edition of the Rensselaer Republican.
Just because you are in the minority on this issue does not mean that the majority is a “Mob.” Also, just because my findings and beliefs on wind turbines do not coincide with your findings does not mean that it is “propaganda.” If this is how it works, then your findings can be labeled as “pro-wind propaganda.”
These “outspoken individuals” have put a lot of time, money and effort into researching all the effects of wind turbines. They have chosen to do their own research and not rely on the wind company’s slick salesmen. And I can assure you that my research did not come from Facebook. I do not have a Facebook page, nor will I ever! And yes, there are scientific studies on the negative impacts of wind turbines, but because they do not fit the agenda of wind companies, they are discounted.
As for the objectivity of certain Jasper County government officials, they are also concerned citizens of this country and can still have their own personal beliefs and opinions. As you have called into question the objectivity of a certain plan official, I won’t call into question the objectivity of certain other Jasper County officials on their own opinions on CAFO’s.
The current wind ordinance was updated at the Nov. 27, 2017 Plan Commission meeting. The wind companies were present at this meeting, and they gave their input on the changes being made. The changes that were made do not adequately protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Jasper County. Granted, we as citizens were not paying attention to what was going on in our own county and we were not present at this meeting. Make no mistake, we will not be caught unaware again.
As for talking to officials and residents of Benton and White Counties, we have. No one who has signed a lease or a “good neighbor agreement” will speak publicly for fear of being sued by the wind company. It is in the lease they signed that they cannot talk or complain about the effects of wind turbines. But off the record, they will tell you that if they had it to do over again, they would NEVER sign a lease for a turbine. Also, comparing Benton and Whit Counties to Jasper County is like comparing apples to oranges. As of 2015, the population of Jasper County was 33,470, Benton County was 8,681 and White County was 24,293. There are 561 square miles in Jasper County, 407 square miles in Benton and 509 square miles in White County. Jasper County is a more populated county per square mile than Benton and White. This needs to be taken into consideration.
RES has been planning the White Post Wind for several years. They requested FAA approval in March 2017. They applied for wind turbines on land they didn’t have signed up and still don’t have signed up. Also, RES was at the Plan Commission meeting on June 25, 2018 and would not speak on behalf of their company and project. RES did not show up to the Aug. 27, 2018 Plan Commission meeting. If they want this wind project, why did they not use these opportunities to be transparent and speak to the citizens of Jasper County.
No one is denying residents the right to determine what is right for them, but what is right for them should not harm others around them. Also, if they want to sign away rights to their own property to a wind company for monetary compensation, that is there prerogative. Everyone always says “It’s my property and I can do what I want with it.” That is technically not true. All counties have zoning laws for the simple purpose of protecting the health, safety and general welfare of the people as it relates to land use. I would like all of the Jasper County government officials to please remember as you consider the changes to the wind ordinance you represent all of Jasper County, and that Jasper County is a wonderful place worth protecting.
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