BUCYRUS – County residents will have three more opportunities to hear what wind power opponents have to say about the proposed Honey Creek Wind Farm.
“The community needs to understand what’s being planned,” said Kimberly Groth, who presents information during the Crawford-Seneca Anti-Wind meetings. “It needs to have a substantive voice in whether or not they think it’s a good fit for their community.”
Apex Clean Energy is the parent company of Honey Creek Wind Farm, which company officials have said could bring millions of dollars in taxes and fees into the county over its 30-year lifespan.
Drew Christensen, public engagement manager for Apex, has said the company plans a 360-megawatt wind project, enough to power about 102,000 homes every year. That’s expected to mean roughly 75 turbines, each between 400 and 600 feet tall, he said.
Both Apex and the anti-wind group offered a series of informational meetings in May. Crawford-Seneca Anti-wind has announced additional meetings:
- 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Holmes Township Volunteer Fire Department, 4381 Holmes Center Road
- 6:30 p.m. June 24 at Aumiller Park, 500 Aumiller Park Drive
- 6:30 p.m. July 1 at Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department, 4628 Liberty St., Sulphur Springs.
Groth, who lives in Bloom Township in southern Seneca County, said regional planners make plans for their communities based on “what they value about their community, what they want to promote and protect within their community.”
Groth: Project would transform Crawford County
Part of the goal is to keep the community an attractive place to live; to encourage young people to stay and raise their own families, and to draw in new families, she said.
“Something that would be so transformative as a giant industrial wind farm should be part of that conversation,” she said.
“This project would completely transform half of Crawford County, and it would impact the entire county,” she said.
While the turbines would be constructed in the northern half of the county, they’d be visible from south of Bucyrus, Groth said. If all of the proposed wind farm projects go forward, someone driving north on Ohio 4 to get to Lake Erie would see turbines from south of Bucyrus all the way to the lake.
Neighbor: It’s an industrial project
Lykens Township resident Kay Weisenauer, who lives about two miles south of the county line, said landowners and residents need to have more information in order to “make good decisions and hopefully have a voice.”
Several landowners in her neighborhood have signed leases with Apex, she said.
“It’s going to affect not just the people that signs leases; it’s going to affect all neighbors,” Weisenauer said. “It’s going to affect everyone. … They’re going to find out that it’s going to affect property value, the landscape, wildlife and our health.”
“We’re an agriculture area, and this … is an industrial project,” she said. “We just want to keep our land.”
Specific information about wind turbine placement, size and number won’t be available until relatively late in the process, Groth noted; and that’s the information that “makes it real.”
“By the time the developer gives that information, it’s like a ball that’s already rolling downhill,” Groth said. “The community really should be at the table earlier in the process. That’s what these meetings are attempting to do; to help people understand what’s being planned in their community, give them another side of the story and see if they think it’s a good fit for their community.”
Attendance has been good at previous meetings, she said, with more than 70 people attending the most recent.
“We have information to hand out and we’ll answer questions,” Weisenauer said. “We’d appreciate having people there. That’s what we’re about: Getting that information out.”
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