As those voices continue to have their say through groups like the Citizens for Responsible Development and most recently the Citizens for Responsible Government, Merida is one of the few voices speaking out in favor of the wind turbines that make up the landscape around his home.
“None of us have been able to figure out what the CRD and the CRG is talking about,” he said. “They’re all from Sharpsville and they don’t live among the wind turbines like we do. The only thing they have to go on is through what other people say or what they read on the Internet.”
Merida said he doesn’t like the idea that Tuesday’s primary has been labeled by some as a referendum vote.
“There’s a lot more business in this county to take care of than just windmills,” he said. “There are a lot of other things that these elected officials have to take care of.”
Merida, who has lived on the farm near 500 East just north of Ind. 28 since he was born, noted that there have been other misconceptions from the public on the issue of wind energy, based on his experiences.
One of those has been his dealings with wind energy company E-ON, which has been responsive to him since he signed a contract with them and throughout the entire process since the turbine blade broke off.
“If E-ON were to come here today and say they’d like to put another wind turbine on your farm, I would say ‘go for it,’” he said. “They’ve been very easy to work with. So far, they’ve done everything for us that they said they would do.”
Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s primary, Merida said he will continue to see the turbines as a sign of progress.
“I see them as our future,” he said. “You’ve got to be able to embrace change or you get left behind. I see [the wind farm] as a change for the good.”
Martin Slagter can be reached at 765-454-8570, email@example.com or on Twitter @slagterm.