Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Letters

May 23, 2013

May 23, 2013: Letters to the editor

(Continued)

Set back turbines at least 1,640 feet

I would like to commend the elected officials of Whitley and Noble counties for doing the right thing. They put the safety of the citizens of their counties first.

George Schrumpf, a Whitley County commissioner, said “the half-mile setback [2,640 feet] was determined to protect both participating and non-participating property owners near a wind farm. Safety of the residences was the final determining factor.”

It absolutely amazes me to hear that other counties’ elected officials will not step up and do what is right and protect and serve all the citizens of their county. This would include Tipton, Howard, Delaware, Wells, Madison and others. When the manufacturer of the turbines does not allow its employees to live within 1,300 to 1,640 feet of a turbine, depending on the manufacturer, who are these elected officials to say it’s OK?

It can be argued back and forth all day as to whether the wind farms cause health issues or property value loss, but if GE and Vestas say it’s not safe to live within a certain distance, that is real and factual.

Through my research, I truly believe there are health, property and safety concerns. But because it is written by GE and Vestas, they need setbacks of more than 1,000 feet, or even the 1,500-foot setback the Tipton County BZA stated for juwi’s Prairie Breeze project.

The Tipton County Comprehensive Plan is currently under review and update. Now would be the perfect time to ensure that if wind farms must be a larger part of Tipton County, the safety and health of all citizens are taken into consideration. The absolute minimum of 1,640 feet from a property line must be used.

Whether the property line is a wind turbine participating land owner or not should not be considered. Once the turbine is in place, that setback radius is in place pretty much forever. Regardless of what the setback is finally determined to be, once in place there will be no more growth in the area. No more new homes or business for an increase in tax base for county roads or schools.

Something I have not read or heard in discussions is the fact that those making the decisions on these wind farms will not be around to see the results in 20 to 30 years. What are you truly creating or leaving for your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

There was much discussion at the Planning Commission meeting on Monday night about the future of Tipton County. With the new Chrysler plant opening soon and the announcement of the Ind. 28-U.S. 31 interchange, real growth is coming to Tipton County. Real growth means permanent jobs, tax base, families, friends and neighbors. Let’s not mess it up!

Stan Jones

Tipton

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