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Money led county to poor decision

The money and effort that Scout Clean Energy put into persuading landowners to lease their land has finally paid off.

Unfortunately, the land lease contracts were mostly signed by landowners that either don’t live in Jay County, or are of retirement age. In either case, they will not have to live with the long-term effects of their choice to sell out.

Scout’s attorney said that the resistance they experienced in Jay County is unprecedented, that a tax abatement has never been challenged as fervently as this one was.

The truth is that the negative impact of placing wind turbines in close proximity to where people live, is just recently being understood and validated.

The STOP Jay County Wind Farms group is not against the concept of clean energy. It is specifically against the placement of wind turbines in close proximity to where people reside.

There are thousands of people across the United States who are having to deal with the reality of loss in their property values. People in our very own county have been informed, by realtors, that they will have a hard time selling their homes. They are being told that it is because of their proximity to the existing Bluff Point wind farm. It is even affecting those trying to sell near the newly proposed Bitter Ridge wind farm.

Homeowners are having to significantly reduce their asking price, and even then, there has been little to no interest shown from potential buyers.

After the tax abatement hearing, a teenaged girl approached us. She was visibly upset. She said that she is from a farming family, and wished that she had signed up to speak. She said the council and landowners made a bad decision and are not doing what is best for future generations. She wished she could have told them that wind farms are not wanted by her, or her family.

The initial windfall of money that our county receives will be a temporary Band-Aid fix at best. And, constructing wind farms will not entice people to move to Jay County.

The decision that our county officials made will have a divisive effect on our community.

When money is the main motivating factor in decision making, the decision will not be in the best interest of the people.

Sheila Birsfield

Rural Portland