Several people weighed in on a proposed wind farm in Leroy Township during Tuesday night’s in-person Board of Trustees meeting.
Apex Clean Energy is tentatively looking to build 60 wind turbines. The company is currently evaluating land in five different townships including Ingham, Leroy, Stockbridge, Wheatfield, and White Oak.
Back in November, the Leroy Township Board sent letters to property owners about the proposed project and received an overwhelming response.
“We’ve got a little over 300 responses to the letter we sent out a couple months ago and they’re running just over 2 to 1 against and many of those people have given reasons why they’re against, many people have given reasons why they’re in favor,” said Township Supervisor Earl Griffes.
During the public comment portion of Tuesday evening’s meeting, there were mixed opinions. One man, a farmer who lives in the proposed area, said after hours of research, his thoughts have changed.
“I was in drastic opposition to them myself when I first heard about them. I did not want one of those noisy ugly things on my farm, but I went and listened at a wind farm north of us and I came away with a whole new perspective,” said Mark Benjamin following the meeting.
Other residents, however, are still strongly against the proposal. Supervisor Griffes said there are a number of concerns that have been brought up.
“They make a buzzing sound and then there’s light flicker that happens and then they’re worried about wildlife. At the tips they say they go 180 miles an hour. In our area we get ice and so that could throw the ice a long ways and so that’s another big concern that I’ve heard,” he said.
In Leroy Township, Griffes said Apex is looking at an area of approximately 15 square miles.
“They wouldn’t put that many towers in that area because there’s houses and stuff and they have to be set back twice as far as they are high, that’s what our present ordinance says and so if they build them 650 feet high, they’re going to have to be 1300 feet away from any property line or property houses or anything like that,”
According to the proposal by Apex, the project would create hundreds of jobs, provide money for landowners, and generate tax revenue for local services.
Township officials said the company has not yet the project is still in its very early stages and so far, no official proposals or decisions have been made. Griffes said more information is needed before moving forward.
The project plans can be viewed below.
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