Fifty concerned landowners showed up at the Albany Fire Station in Whiteside County on Feb. 10, sharing fears of loss of land values and quality of life when a wind farm is built in agricultural neighborhoods.
Eric Smith has leased 225 acres between Kennedy, Stone, Archer, and Benson roads to Gipper Wind Farm, a division of Scout Clean Power LLC of Colorado. A tower has been constructed to determine if there is enough velocity to power 75-125 generators (turbines).
Elsewhere, lands that were zoned agricultural are now given a special-use permit status allowing these turbine companies to put industrial power plants, “turbines, “ in land adjoining many homes.
Much discussion time was spent on turbines so close to homes. A general agreement was that zoning bodies should not give permission to any proposed activity that puts the health, safety and welfare of its citizens in these previously zoned agricultural areas at risk.
Also, zoning boards should respect their earlier agricultural commitments to those who bought and stewarded the land for generations.
Discussion continued on the topic of how revenue streaming is not a valid zoning consideration. Visitors discussed farmers being hindered in crop spraying, the plight of eagles killed by turbine blades, “flickering” triggering neurological diseases, and the unbearable noises associated with them.
The history of turbine farms was discussed, using photographs and articles, and telling of more problems. Talks were given by Donn Larson, Holly and Jason Wambergue, and myself.
Moderator Barb Suehl Frantz, a real estate agent in Whiteside County, spoke of house and land values plummeting.
All agreed that these commercial structures would forever eliminate agricultural properties and neighborhoods around them.
No small subset of the population should bear these devastating financial and health losses.