The local Chamber of Commerce seems to be in full support of Apex Roaming Bison’s proposed industrial wind turbine project in Montgomery County. However, there are a few items that should be brought to light in regards to Apex as a local business.
First, commissioners have not approved their proposal. Although Apex has been trying to convince commissioners to sign an economic development agreement for almost a year now, their proposal was denied in September. There have been no building permits issued for tower construction. Furthermore, they may never be able to agree upon Apex’s terms.
To consider Apex a Montgomery County business is not only inaccurate, it is dangerous. When commissioners first began to listen to local residents and discussed amending the 2009 wind ordinance, Apex immediately countered. Their response was for commissioners to pay attention to what Apex wants because they have invested too much in this community to walk away now. This was relayed by commissioners to the no wind crowd as a threat of a lawsuit against the county.
The benefits of wind development to the local community have been grossly overrated by Apex. There is a direct negative impact of wind turbine facilities upon business and industry. For proof, one need not look farther than the county’s own wind ordinance from 2009. It states: “Whereas, the construction of wind farms could limit certain types of development within proximity of the wind farms for other commercial/industrial purposes that could also create new jobs in the county.” When commissioners began looking into wind development in 2009, they advised that wind farms could stunt other businesses and local job growth in our community. Why then would the Chamber be so supportive of one business expected to negatively impact other local industry?
A look at just a few of the businesses outside of the city limits shows that many locally owned businesses in the wind turbine development areas are ag or ag-related. These businesses will be next door to turbines, and will feel their impact more so than other businesses. I know personally of a few businesses who have put their plans for expansion on hold as they await the fate of industrial wind power plants in our area. With Montgomery County leading the state in agriculture, why would the Chamber support a business which would undermine an industry which is already thriving? The Chamber should be listening to the local community, which has spoken its disregard for wind turbine power plants.
Part of the economic development agreement proposed by Apex includes labeling townships as Economic Redevelopment Areas. Fortunately, the county council wants to change this. There is a meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Crawfordsville District Public Library to discuss the ERA designation that was placed on Madison and Sugar Creek townships. While the council is expected to rescind the ERA, if commissioners sign an agreement with Apex, they will want the tax abatement gifted to them in an ERA. If you live in Coal Creek, Wayne or Ripley townships, the Umbaugh report from March 2018 projects 120 wind turbines for your areas, and you might be next in getting an ERA. Please attend this meeting to express your opposition to local wind farms, and the discord and unfair practices like the ERA that they bring.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding