Weatherly’s mayor would like to see his town receive benefits from a proposed wind farm in nearby Packer Township.
Mayor/council President Tom Connors said at Monday’s council meeting that he’s heard from borough residents that the town should get some compensation for the impact of the proposed wind turbines.
Broad Mountain Power has proposed 21 wind turbines atop the Broad Mountain in Packer Township.
The company is a subsidiary of a multibillion dollar Canadian company which specializes in renewable energy.
The project is located on land owned by Kovatch Enterprises and Hazleton Electric Contractors.
Sixteen of the proposed wind turbines would reach 656 feet at the tip of the blades. Connors, who said he has been attending the public hearings for the proposed facility, believes that Weatherly residents will have a clear view of the wind turbines.
“You’re going to see these things. They’re big and you’re going to see them,” Connors said.
Connors said he recently heard that the wind farm operators are prepared to give Packer Township $80,000 per year if the project is approved. He said Weatherly School District is also going to receive funds.
Connors said that Weatherly borough residents will have to look at the towers every day for 20 years, according to the proposed life span of the farm.
“I’ve had people approach me in this community. They’ve asked me ‘they’re gonna put up these towers in the sky and we’re going to be looking at them for 20 years and we as Weatherly residents don’t seem to be benefiting from them at all,’ ” Connors said.
Connors said he’d like to see Broad Mountain make a lasting contribution to Weatherly.
He suggested a fire department substation located on the west side of town. He pointed out that it would benefit Packer Township too because Citizens Fire Co. No. 1 covers Packer as well as Weatherly.
Connors said one resident he spoke to suggested that a good compensation figure would be $20,000 per resident.
Connors admitted that proposal was unlikely to get approved, but he said he would like to see the town receive more than just Little League sponsorships from Broad Mountain.
“When something like this happens, it’s life-changing in that 20 years is a long investment for a lot of people. If somebody’s going to do something that will affect you for 20 years, you should get something for it,” Connors said.
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