Wind turbines remain a controversial topic at Wednesday’s Stanton Twp. Board meeting.
The debate began three weeks ago when Stanton Twp. residents made their stance against wind farms firm and clear.
Keeping that in mind, the board members were supposed to draft an ordinance that could address these concerns.
However, after Wednesday’s meeting, the future became more unclear.
In fact, heads shook and eyes rolled as Circle Power continued to push for wind farms in the township where residents have made it very clear – they don’t want it.
“I’ve lived on Obenhoff lake for 28 years,” said Maddie Manderfield, Stanton Twp. resident. Who, like many, loves the natural skyline she sees from her home each and every day. “These are almost 600 feet tall, so they’ll be towering over me. They will be about 1,800 feet.”
Despite public opinion, Circle Power’s Vice President of Development Christopher Moore says it’s time to harness the windy Keweenaw.
“The area we’re looking at generally has higher wind speeds,” said Moore. “Which allows you to generate more electricity than other areas of the state.”
Although, some still aren’t convinced it’s the right thing to do.
Almost overnight, a nonprofit group assembled, calling themselves the Guardians of the Keweenaw Ridge.
“What we want to do is protect residents and visitors that live on or within view of the Keweenaw Ridge,” said Guardians of the Keweenaw Ridge Secretary James Mihelcic. “And as you know, that stretches from the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula all the way down to Ontonagon.”
The Guardians say they want to work with the power company and the township to suggest alternative turbines that may be less intrusive.
“The one thing that we really can’t entertain,” said Moore. “Is if they want NO project whatsoever, that’s going to be really hard for us to support.”
The Guardians have spoken to Circle Power and the two plan to meet sometime soon to discuss an alternative to the turbine farms.
Until then, however, the township must also decide if it wants to only revise an ordinance to attempt to stop the wind farms, or if it also may need zoning in effect to do so.
Finally, a decision will likely be announced at the next public meeting on Aug. 4 in Stanton Township.
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