May 4, 2022

Douglass Twp. planner resigns after comments about wind turbines, communication towers

By Elisabeth Waldon | Daily News | May 04, 2022 |

A Douglass Township planning commissioner has resigned after making statements at a meeting last week about wind turbines interfering with communication towers.

Todd Wells confirmed with the Daily News on Tuesday that he resigned from the Planning Commission on Monday after serving for 20 years. He told the Daily News he resigned “partly because your article was my final straw.”

The Daily News published a story Saturday about last Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting at which Wells stated he’s had conversations with CMS Internet and Point Broadband employees and people in Gratiot and Isabella counties who say that wind turbines negatively affect communications towers and thus cell phone and internet service. Wells said his anonymous sources have signed agreements saying they won’t talk about these concerns publicly because they would get sued by a wind developer.

When contacted by the Daily News for a response, CMS Internet officials said they were not aware of any issues regarding negative effects from turbines on communications and technology, and that employees have not signed anything agreeing to not speak about turbines. Point Broadband’s general manager declined to comment and a CTIA senior vice president on behalf of AT&T and Verizon said he was not familiar with the issue and had no information to share.

“The main concern for me is we have no idea what these new turbines will do to technology in our area because they are totally different than the other windmills in our state,” Wells told the Daily News on Tuesday. “I just wanted to keep my board members to stick to at least what Spicer Group wrote, not to start rewriting the whole ordinance. The lawyers are the experts, not members of a little board in Montcalm County.

“This whole subject has me thinking and spending more time than I should,” Wells added. “So I am resigning/retiring after 20 years of service to the community. It just has become too much for me to juggle everything in my life with this planning board taking up so much of my day.”

The Douglass Township Planning Commission will next meet on May 25 to continue working on a wind energy ordinance. The Douglass Township Board is next scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. tonight.

[rest of article available at source]

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