Letter: Why be against wind energy?

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, August 27, 2017

Why would you be against wind energy? Everyone thinks it’s a great idea. Why can’t these turbines be put in areas of vast nothing-ness? Why does Freeborn County need another proposed wind farm? Why put them in prime agricultural land?

So, let me give you some of the whys many of us are against the proposed Freeborn Wind Farm project being in the southeast section of our county and Worth County.

• Health issues: Sleeplessness, noise, flicker effects, migraine headaches, heart palpatations etc. The wind energy folks don’t believe that any of these exist, so it’s not a problem. We’ve met folks from the Bent Tree wind farm who suffer from these problems.

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• Loss of communications: Many of us within this proposed farm receive our television and radio over the air only — no cable. We will lose valuable signal and emergency notifications from TV stations KAAL-TV and KIMT-TV and Hometown Broadcasting and possibly KATE and KCPI. They all have towers within the footprint and will possibly be affected, thereby causing us to lose our TV and radio programs from these stations and public access TV.

• Road issues: The wind farm will bring in huge overweight and oversized equipment that will require townships to tear up roads. They will crush tiles and culverts, and that could cause many issues for land and homeowners.

• Economic issues: The county sees this as an additional income. The wind company claims there will be a net 10 jobs between Minnesota and Iowa. Whoa, that’s some impact. Invenergy, the wind company we’re dealing with, was delinquent in paying their $480,000 property tax bill this past fall in Illinois. Do you really think they’ll be prompt with their payments here?

• Property tax value loss: The wind developer claims there will be no loss in value. I have looked at property taxes for some homes and land pieces in the Bent Tree wind farm over the past four years, and many have gone down in value. You can’t say that it won’t. The county information doesn’t lie.

• Securing land for the wind farm: Many of the landowners who the wind farm has secured land from are absentee landowners. They won’t have to see or hear or deal with the turbines up close and personal. We understand that they use high-pressure tactics to sell you on their idea — tell you that your neighbors have all bought in, so you may as well, too. Many times that was absolutely wrong.

There are so many more things to mention, but this should be enough to get your attention.

Signing contracts with wind energy companies requires an attorney. All their contracts are geared to serve their needs, not the families that they are invading the space of or giving payments to. Once you sign a contract with them you give up your rights and take on their debts should they default.

And that’s why you should be against wind energy in Freeborn County and Worth County, Iowa.

Stephanie Richter