by Nick Fiala
On behalf of the many concerned citizens of Jasper County, we would like to clarify our position on some of the issues associated with the wind turbine debate. We feel that the current Jasper County wind turbine zoning ordinance falls short of offering adequate protection to those who choose not to participate in the White Post Wind Project. We are not trying to tell anyone what they can or cannot do with their own property as long as what they can or cannot do with their own property rights. The benefits of wind turbines to participating landowners and the wind development companies are obvious — They make more money. Non-participants, however, fall way short on any benefits and, in fact, would likely have to experience all the ill effects of living in a wind turbine area.
We have made a new comprehensive proposal to change the current wind turbine zoning ordinance in Jasper County. This will help address the concerns of our friends and neighbors. The Jasper County Commissioners and the Plan Commission members have this proposal, and it will be discussed at the next Jasper County Plan Commission meeting on Monday, Aug. 27 at the Jasper County Fairgrounds at 7 p.m. Central Time.
Some have mentioned that we are being influenced by the outsiders who are part of a national anti-wind movement. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This group is as homegrown as it gets. We are made up of farmers, homeowners and landowners, large and small. Most of us work and/or live in east central Jasper County. The majority of the landowners in this area have decided not to participate in this project and have legitimate concerns should any of their neighbors decide to install a wind turbine. Our opposition is based on the concern for our property rights and is in no way influenced by outsiders. The only outside influence we see in this county right now are the land agents and representatives who work for the following wind development companies: RES, EDP and NEXTERA and any other turbine development company currently trying to infiltrate Jasper County. RES, EDP and NEXTERA are headquartered in England, Spain and Juno Beach, FL respectively.
Our zoning proposal will address the following issues:
1. Set back distance of the turbines from property lines, not foundations.
2. Turbine noise levels.
3. Turbine shadow flicker.
4. Liklihood of property value declines.
5. Drainage and road repair.
6. Turbine decommissioning.
7. Wildlife threat.
The White Post Wind Project would be the most abrupt and invasive change to our area since the land was drained and converted to agriculture. Wind turbines don’t have anything to do with agriculture. They are industrial. The recent KV Post/Rensselaer Republican survey indicated that 84 percent of respondents don’t wish to have wind turbines in Jasper County. They have legitimate concerns for their health, safety and welfare. We look forward to the Jasper County Plan Commission considering these changes on Aug. 27.
Concerned for the citizens of Jasper County,