November 2, 2018

County towns putting up walls against wind

By Darrel Radford | The Courier-Times | Nov 01, 2018 |

Wind – a hot topic in the May primary – may not be as much of a driving force in the Nov. 6 election, yet behind the scenes there’s still lots of anti-turbine activity.

As many as half of Henry County’s incorporated communities have passed resolutions establishing a four-mile buffer zone around their towns. The list where actual ordinances have been signed now includes Blountsville, Kennard, Lewisville, Springport, Straughn, Sulphur Springs and Greensboro.

Judy Walker, a Sulphur Springs resident who first brought the buffer zone ordinance to that board’s attention, said Shirley and Mount Summit have both been receptive. The Mooreland Town Board is expected to pass the ordinance on second reading at their upcoming November meeting. Cadiz will also consider the ordinance later this month as well.

“All who have passed this ordinance have passed it unanimously,” Walker said. “We feel good about that.”

Two Henry County Council candidates on the ballot Nov. 6 – Kenon Gray in District 1 and Peggy Stefandel in District 3 – both prevailed in the May primary based in part on their anti-wind turbine stances.

“They are more than one-issue candidates,” Walker said. “They have informed themselves very well on other issues.”

Others, like Northern District Commissioner candidate Ed Tarantino and District 4 County Council candidate Susan Huhn, also ran on a “no wind” platform. Neither has opposition in the general election.

Whether or not anti-wind proponents will impact the general election remains to be seen. Both Gray and Stefandel are in three-candidate races. Gray is being opposed by Democrat Patricia Cronk and Libertarian Jeremiah Morrell. Stefandel’s opponents are Democrat Dakota Clark and Libertarian Jesse Riddle.

Walker said the ordinance passed so far by eight towns has not yet been challenged by anyone in the state of Indiana.

“There is no case law on it,” she said.

While some county leaders have said wind turbine opponents “need to calm down” because there are “no active wind turbine projects in Henry County,” Walker begs to differ.

“Calpine is actively pursuing electrical easements in the northern part of the county again,” Walker said. “Hopefully this four-mile ordinance will stop that also.”

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