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March 3, 2013

Letters to the Editor: March 3, 2013

Here’s what common sense says of turbines

Who am I? I am a working, taxpaying, voting resident of Cicero Township in Tipton County.

Who I am is a resident of a rural community who moved here for lower taxes, a quiet, country setting to enjoy my retirement with my family and grandkids.

I get upset when I can’t get a signal for my cellphone, so I have accepted the cell towers springing up. I can see them out the south, west and north windows of my home. But they are far enough away that they are just there, not annoying or causing a vibration or noise or shadow.

I am someone with enough common sense who says no one will buy my house in a few years with a windmill casting a shadow across my patio. I know I would not even consider looking at a house in these areas, no matter how good the deal.

We recently moved back to Tipton County, not knowing anything about the Windfall wind farm project. I can guarantee you the sellers and their agent did not mention it, if they even knew about it at the time. Had they, we would not be living here today.

Common sense tells me if my house drops in value because of the windmill, and they are looking to compare a house in the area for sale, that house will be devalued also, even if not directly in sight of a turbine, because that’s the way real estate comparisons work.

I am someone with enough common sense who says, if I look at the energy and materials required to manufacture turbines and towers, and all the semis and escorts needed to transport the turbines to the location, 30 years of maintenance and the supposed removal at the end of their life, I wonder if that is figured into the “efficiency” of the overall project. And when you factor in the fact that the electric companies must provide enough reserve electricity to supply when the wind doesn’t blow, then there really is no value.

I am someone with enough common sense who says, if there are a lot of unanswered questions, time needs to be given to get all the facts and make sure everyone is made aware of what is going on. Tipton County is a quiet, rural community, and I am sure there are some who do not take a newspaper, there are some who do not use the Internet, and there are some who do not get out and get involved but would be very upset and surprised when a windmill was erected in their backyard.

I am someone with enough common sense who says that if I am a company and I want to build this wind farm, I will provide the best studies money can buy that make me look the best and discredit any opposition.

I am someone with enough common sense to think that the local farmers and land owners would not do anything to even possibly jeopardize the seed corn industry, which is a major form of income and revenue to the county, the farmers, their workers, the seed companies and others who provide support throughout the season. I don’t know if the windmills will affect seed corn, but common sense tells me it will.

I am someone with enough common sense to look around on the Internet, and look for myself — not what the Tipton Wind Concern has said to look at or what juwi has said to look at, but just looking. Try Googling “health effects by wind turbines”. There are more health studies in Canada, England and Australia, where wind turbines have been in use longer. One Australian article states they are looking at a minimum 5-kilometer setback. Doing the math, that is 3.1 miles.

I am someone who does not want to sit on my patio for the next 20 or 30 years and have to look at a windmill and watch the blades flicker across my house and yard.

Who I am not is an expert on electrical engineering, green energy, hearing loss, sound waves or health issues relating to noise, wind and light. I am not an expert on property values, or have a degree in economics to fully understand the tax abatements, property taxes, money for schools or other economic information studies made available by both the wind energy companies or by those opposed. I am not an expert in agriculture to know if there will be an effect of the wind turbines on crops, especially seed crops.

Because I am not an expert on these matters, I must rely on our elected officials and “experts” to provide the best, most truthful information available and make sound decisions based on what is best for the entire county. And quite frankly, that scares me.

Stan Jones, Tipton

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