The Harvey County Regional Planning Commission is set to review and approve the criteria for a commercial renewable energy project, which includes building wind turbines to zoned areas.
Some people who live in the county are not happy about the wind turbines.
“I could list you a lot of things that are concerns that people aren’t aware of,” Kenneth Umholtz, who lives on a farm in Harvey County, said.
Kenneth and Eileen Umholtz have lived on their property for 55 years. The two raised their three daughters on their farm and said they enjoy the peace and quiet their land offers.
“A lot of folks in Harvey County, don’t even know they’re talking about putting wind farms in. Well, I say wind farms, more like industrial wind complex, they’re not farms. So, we would like to make an appeal to anybody that’s listening to this to be aware of what’s going on in western Harvey County right now,” Kenneth Umholtz said.
He said the wind turbines will affect the property value of nonparticipating land owners. Umholtz also believes they can cause health issues and be dangerous in some situations.
“There’s concerns about ice throw, these things can sling ice off of those turbine blades. There’s been reports of almost 1,600 feet, that’s a quarter mile,” said Kenneth Umholtz.
“I have a daughter and granddaughter that just driving by the wind turbines, they get sick,” said Eileen Umholtz. “And so, if we are surrounded by wind turbines around here, will they come home and be sick all the time when they’re home?”
Harvey County Commissioner, Chip Westfall, said concerns like these will be discussed and reviewed at the planning and zoning meeting on Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Meridian Center, 1420 East Broadway in Newton.
“Currently, the Harvey County Planning and Zoning Board is studying the current regulations the county has in place regarding wind farms. Some of these regulations may need to be updated. Items being discussed are setbacks from roads, residences, property lines, additionally, the flicker effect, noise and other items pertaining to wind farm operations are under review. Wind farms can both be positive and negative for counties that host them,” said Westfall.
The Umholtz said they don’t understand why wind turbines will be built in such a populated county like Harvey.
“We are very proud of the peace and quiet and atmosphere we have out here, all across Harvey County,” said Kenneth Umholtz.
The family says they’ll be at the September 14 meeting asking for modifications like a one-mile setback from nonparticipating land owners.
You can find more information about the meeting on the Harvey County website.
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