Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Letters

May 10, 2013

Letter to the Editor: May 10, 2013

Let’s help officials deal with wind plan

As a taxpayer and concerned citizen of eastern Howard County, I have read some of the latest scholarly and peer-reviewed information available on industrial wind turbines. It’s not something I ever wanted to do or expected to do, and I do not pretend to be an expert even after reading much information. However, I do feel I have learned enough to conclude my family will not be adequately protected from property value loss or health and safety-related issues from audible/inaudible noise associated with industrial wind turbines with the current Howard County industrial wind turbine ordinance.

I also object to the Howard County setback, which allows a home inside the radius where industrial wind turbine technicians are told not to enter in case of a runaway turbine or fire.

The Howard County industrial wind zoning ordinance needs to reflect the latest independent and scholarly peer-reviewed information for setbacks and noise standards, but I don’t believe it does.

Furthermore, I cannot determine how the current ordinance requirements relative to wind energy, particularly the noise level and setback requirements, were set in the first place.

My questions: Are the setback and noise level requirements the result of wind turbine company input? How was the data derived for the requirements, regardless of input source? Who in Howard County did the analytical research that justifies the current requirements? What were the qualifications of the Howard County researcher(s)? Why aren’t the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Standards Organization (ISO) noise standards reflected in the noise portion of the industrial wind turbine zoning ordinance? On what grounds were the WHO and ISO standards ignored or disregarded? Were property value studies from the industrial wind turbine companies challenged? If not, why not?

Relative to property value, I can only imagine how the home values of those closest to industrial wind turbines in Howard County would be affected, and looking at the latest FAA charts of proposed turbine sites, I would be surrounded! Furthermore, property value loss according to the testimony of expert witness/appraiser Mike McCann during the Tipton BZA hearing is very disturbing.

Mr. McCann appraises properties near industrial wind turbines, and he stated a 25 to 40 percent home value loss occurs within two to three miles of industrial wind turbines! Why should any homeowner lose equity in their home so others in the county can profit? I’m a capitalist; I have no problem with anyone making money, but profits shouldn’t be made by some while others lose home equity as a direct result.

Fortunately, there is always legal recourse before or after the turbines are installed, but litigation should be a remote possibility if the zoning ordinance were adequate. Therefore, I ask our county officials to revisit the industrial wind turbine zoning ordinance before there is any permit application to assure they are truly protecting those who would be living near industrial wind turbines.

It is my understanding that even waiting a week may be too long if a wind turbine company makes application for a permit under the current zoning and it passes the planning commission’s “checklist”. I say this revisit needs to be done “yesterday” with the help of independent experts who do not work for the wind industry.

While I hope legal recourse will never be necessary by any Howard County residents, surprisingly, I’ve learned not only wind turbine companies, but my neighbors, as leaseholders, can be sued for any industrial wind turbine related issues. I don’t think anyone wants to sue their neighbors, least of all me, but if the zoning standards aren’t revised that could happen. I assume the county could be sued as well.

All of this can be avoided if the zoning setbacks and noise standards are changed to reflect the latest safety and WHO or ISO noise recommendations, and a property value guarantee formula is extended to homeowners from wind turbine companies.

I am not a lawyer and I’m sure that is apparent, but I do not see how an economic development agreement or roads contract with a wind turbine company could preclude changes to our zoning ordinances in light of the vast amount of scholarly information available that contradicts our wind energy zoning ordinance. Howard County shouldn’t stand on contracts as the reason for not revising its industrial wind turbine zoning ordinance. That would be the equivalent of choosing to ignore scholarly peer-reviewed data and the welfare of citizens, in my opinion. Ensuring the safety and welfare of citizens should always take precedent over contracts. If mistakes were made in developing the current industrial wind turbine zoning ordinance, they need to be corrected. Mistakes are correctable. Not correcting mistakes is unforgiveable.

Our Howard County officials need to look past the dollars they are hoping for to the realities they are ignoring if they haven’t adequately explored the data that is contrary to what profit-driven wind turbine companies may have presented to them or to leaseholders.

 I know elected jobs are not easy and no one said an elected job would be easy. However, I think it’s fair to expect due diligence that removes all doubt the current industrial wind turbine zoning standards will protect me, my family, and my property. If anyone can show me that’s been done, I’ll be satisfied. But while other counties are changing their wind energy zoning to be more stringent as new data becomes available on inadequate industrial wind turbine setbacks and noise requirements, I can only think due diligence was performed too long ago in Howard County to be meaningful today.

Complaints don’t solve anything without facts to back them. Let’s help the Howard County Commissioners and other county officials dealing with industrial wind turbine technology in Howard County develop an appropriate wind energy ordinance.

Kristie Mullett, Greentown

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
  • LETTERS: Parents taking fun out of youth sports Parents taking fun out of youth sports I enjoyed reading the article, "Nation's youth sports leagues on troubling decline," by Bill Stanczykiewicz, CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, and the last paragraph, a quote by Dr. Bill Dexter, president of t

    July 28, 2014

  • LETTERS: Putting economics before responsibility Veterans, retirees need tax deductionsAre you receiving either an Indiana property tax Veterans Disability Deduction or an Over 65 Deduction? I was, however, this year I learned otherwise. My property taxes payable this year, as compared to the prope

    July 27, 2014

  • LETTERS: Mast homestead celebrates 150 years Mast homestead celebrates 150 yearsThe two-story frame, Pennsylvania-Dutch style house on the Larry and Barbara Hensler farm 2 miles west of Plevna is 150 years old this year. In fact it may even be a little older than that. Lloyd Hensler used to say

    July 25, 2014

  • LETTERS: Christians must stand with Israel 'As Christians we must stand with life' The present conflict in Israel is with Hamas, recognized even in Egypt as a terrorist organization. Recently Hamas formed a unity government with the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. They're now the government in

    July 24, 2014

  • LETTERS: Let's hope 7th Circuit sides with couples Let’s hope 7th Circuit sides with couplesIf you blinked over the past month, you probably missed some news about marriage equality in Indiana.First, a federal court ruled that the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples was unconstitutional, whi

    July 23, 2014

  • LETTERS: Trust chemical, seed firms and the FDA? Trust chemical, seed firms and the FDA?Let’s see ... Mr. Don Villwock, Indiana Farm Bureau president, wants the FDA to define what genetically engineered foods are, and then he wants it to be optional or voluntary for food companies to tell consumers

    July 22, 2014

  • LETTERS: Show support where you spend money Show support where you spend moneyReinvest in your community. It is something you hear often, but what does it mean and how do you effectively do it?Thankfully, there are people in our community who can give six-figure donations to projects like the

    July 21, 2014

  • LETTER: Highway plan short on alternatives Highway plan short on alternativesAs reported Monday, the usual business interests have once again trotted out their usual list of highway projects they want built. Maybe it is time for us to ask for more efficient use of our existing highways and st

    July 20, 2014

  • LETTERS: GMO letter writer gets it wrong GMO letter writer gets it all wrong Indiana Farm Bureau applauds Rep. Todd Rokita for co-sponsoring HR4432, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. A letter in the July 10 issue of the Kokomo Tribune criticized HR4432 and Rep. Rokita, implying that

    July 18, 2014

  • LETTERS: 'God's justice system' needs to be adopted 'God's justice system' needs to be adopted We don't have a justice system. It is just a system. With all the shootings and murders in the news, especially in the last couple of weeks, I have not heard one lawmaker or politician suggest the swift and

    July 13, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller