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September 26, 2013

Sept. 26, 2013: Letters to the editor

Commissioners aren’t ‘interested in facts’

Industrial wind turbines, slated to be foisted upon us, will adversely affect every taxpayer in Howard County. Damage won’t be limited to just those nearly 3,000 residents who will live beneath them. Total income to the county from the turbines over an 11-year period will only add up to $4 million. For a county whose yearly budget is $39 million to $42 million, this sum is paltry.

E.ON will destroy drainage and roads in eastern Howard County. This area is a swamp. Much is considered flood plain. It’s taken millions of dollars over decades to lay drainage tile, and we still flood easily. Drainage tiles will be crushed. The 60-foot diameter turbine bases, multiplied by 100 turbines, equals 6,000 feet of pavement on former farm fields, creating new drainage problems. The 12-foot-deep bases will also act as underground dams, disrupting underground water flow.

Roads were once terrible. The millions to build decent roads were spread over decades. Our county budget will suddenly be stressed to restore infrastructure! With little income from turbines, where will money come from to restore our infrastructure destroyed by them? Will taxes go up? Will Howard County go bankrupt? All of Howard County will pay this bill.

Anyone traveling here will be endangered. Safety issues for those around turbines are staggering. Yet the commissioners want to construct them right by roads everyone uses. If there is an accident, LifeLine helicopters cannot access this area, putting many at risk!

Slurry put on roads contains silica. Silica dust stirred up by driving the roads can cause silicosis, a fatal lung disease, putting all citizens at risk.

Once turbines are constructed, no new homes or businesses can be built. The county is locked into the setbacks for future expansion. People’s property values go down, decreasing property taxes and further depleting county income. The six jobs created aren’t local hires.

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