If you are paying attention, you know Seneca County is on schedule to have a total of 143 wind turbines as high as the tallest buildings in Columbus built in two projects here over the next couple years. Unlike other areas where these monstrosities are usually built, our county has many dispersed residential homesites. Of the almost 56,000 people in Seneca County, well over half live in the rural areas. This means that no matter where the 143 turbines are placed, there will be many people living nearby each one of them.
Despite what you may read or hear from the wind companies, living close to a wind turbine is not so great. Maybe a fun place to visit, but not a fun place to live. The wide-open areas further west in the U.S. have much larger open spaces and turbines placed there affect far fewer people. But the wind projects want to build in northwest Ohio because it is about as far west as they can be and still sell the electricity on the PJM power grid that then sends it to the highly populated East Coast.
County commissioners Holly Stacy and Shayne Thomas want wind turbines in our county so bad that they insist on giving them huge local property tax discounts to get them here. Because of the massive federal tax incentives, building wind projects is a lucrative and profitable business. That is why they are being built. They do not need further property tax abatement from our county. We will be the ones forced to live under the turbines. We should not have to offer discounts for the “pleasure” of putting up with them.
There will be a dozen turbines within 1 1/2 miles of Seneca East K-12 school. This is not a good situation. But, even as a mother and a grandmother, Stacy does not seem to care that several generations of children will be forced to spend 13 years in an environment that feels like a different planet and, despite what the wind companies will tell you, does have negative health effects with long-term exposure. How can anyone support doing this to children? No amount of money can justify this.
You may not know yet, but besides the two projects totaling 143 turbines, there are at least three more projects being put together behind the scenes in this county that could announce themselves any day. They probably will be another 50-100 turbines each. Isn’t 143 enough for now? Do you think we need to add more before we have even seen the first ones? Do you think we should continue to offer massive tax breaks to entice more to build?
Your county is about to change forever in a big way. A recent professional online poll found that 3 out of 4 people in Seneca County do not want any of this to happen. To quote Will Rogers, “A few months ago, we said things can’t go on like this and they didn’t, they got worse.” Stacy and Thomas should offer their resignations with heads held low for what they have encouraged (and continue to encourage) in our county. Or they could begin to care more about the people of Seneca County and less about helping huge corporations push wind turbines onto us. Which will it be?