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Wind farms and money

As a state legislator, I had a sincere respect for the committee process. Every issue that we would address would have two committee hearings, meetings were open to the public and we would hear both sides of the issue. You could be sure the truth was told or the credibility of the person would be damaged.

Most of the information on the Prevailing Wind Park project was in area papers. We were told in 2015 Tripp school would receive $1,000 per student per year from Beethoven Wind Park. Not true. They receive $112,000 and had 162 students in 2015. We were told Avon school would receive $1,300 per student per year from Prevailing Wind Park. That also was not true. In 2016, the Legislature made major changes to school state aid. The money from the wind park will be counted the same as local taxes. The formula is very simple: the more local taxes, the less state aid the school will receive. The Tripp school has a wind park in their district and has already passed a tax opt-out because of loss of state aid.

As units of Prevailing Wind Park are built, about 80% are not close to where land owners live. They will not have the noise or shadow flicker from blades turning or have to look at these 600-foot-tall units.

I have been involved two different times when I had a special appreciation for neighbors. It was only because of neighbors working together we saved the life of a neighbor caught in a corn head. A few years ago, a neighbor died unexpectedly. When the beans were ready to harvest, neighbors with combines, grain carts and trucks came to show the true colors of being a neighbor.

Why are wind parks built? Warren Buffet, the third richest man in the world, said publicly that tax credits are the only reason he builds wind parks. They don’t make sense without them. Germany is going back to coal to have a reliable energy source.

Edward Van Gerpen, Avon