MADISON COUNTY, Iowa – Frustrated Madison County residents are calling for county supervisors to stop wind turbines from being built across their countryside.
Madison County is known for its picturesque covered bridges, but wind turbines now span acres of land, and some residents say they tower too close to homes.
“The problem is nobody knows that it’s coming in until it gets there,” Madison County resident Brett Terharr said.
Brett Terharr and Rachell Terharr are among many residents working to find middle ground in a divided county.
“There’s a lot of controversy,” Madison County resident Mark Stadtlander said. “There’s a lot of neighbors that aren’t talking. There’s a lot of families that aren’t talking.”
Mary Jobst, who signed an easement allowing two proposed wind turbines on her property, spoke out against building more turbines in the county during a public forum.
“We goofed up and signed the darn thing, but these people didn’t even have a voice,” Jobst said. “People want a voice. They do, they want a voice.”
Madison County residents shared frustration and fear that the wind turbines will do more harm than good.
“Quiet country living has been disrupted, and I’m begging for your protection,” Madison County resident Shelley Marsh said.
A temporary moratorium is holding off future wind projects in the county until October 2020, leaving 52 approved turbines in limbo as the case is pending in court.
“We’re told that it’s too late, but the board of supervisors in Madison County have the power to stop it right now,” Brett Terhaar said.
Madison County Supervisor Diane Fitch said the board is working toward a new ordinance that it hopes to have finished in the spring.
“Many of us are proposing it needs to be a mile back from property lines,” Brett Terhaar said.
MidAmerican said it is not opposed to reasonable requirements,: “However, a 1-mile setback is simply not reasonable and would effectively prohibit wind energy development.”
Rachel Terhaar said she and her community members are not sure that is the legacy they want.
“This experiment is gonna be over and our landscape is gonna be littered,” she said.
KCCI’s Tommie Clark continues the Madison County wind turbine conversation Tuesday.
Hear why a Greenfield couple says the seven wind turbines surrounding their property are hurting their health, why a doctor agrees and what an Iowa State wind expert is saying about it.
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