By STAN MADDUX
LOGANSPORT, Ind. — Renewable Energy Systems, based in the United Kingdom, recently withdrew plans for 150-225 wind turbines in Cass and Miami counties. The company cited only ‘’technical circumstances’’ for its decision.
Opponents applauding the move are pushing to have local zoning laws tightened to discourage any other wind generators of electricity from ever wanting to come there.
“We will not be satisfied until our county ordinance changes,” said Paige Woodhouse, a member of the Cass County Property Rights group.
Cass County Commissioner Jeff LeDonne said losing out are the owners of 40,000 acres who signed contracts worth $90 million over a 20-year period for leasing ground the turbines would have stood on.
He sees no need to restrict existing zoning laws.
LeDonne said residents shouldn’t complain because wind turbines are among the elements of rural life to be expected.
“If they want to move to the country they got to go with everything,” he said.
The company backed out about a year after the opposition began speaking out.
LeDonne, though, said the decision was strictly over the company being unable to make their plans work.
Woodhouse, who lives 1,000 feet from where one of the turbines would have gone up, feels the huge propellers are especially unsitely and dangerous at the 685 foot height that was considered.
She wondered if a blade thrown off a turbine so tall would have posed a threat to her family because of travel distance before hitting the ground.
“Is my house safe. Are my kids safe?” she asked.
Woodhouse also feels the decibel levels of a turbine would have been just enough for her to have plenty of restless nights and down the road, perhaps, health issues.
“I don’t like to sleep with any noise going on. I like quiet. I live in the country. I enjoy quiet,” she said.
Woodhouse said turbines also bring restrictions on what neighboring property owners can do on their own land because of setbacks from the wind driven machines.,
LeDonne said he’s never heard of a blade getting thrown off a turbine anywhere but to prevent such a happening maintenance strategies even during ice storms were laid out by the company.
He also said there would have been no land use restrictions.
“They say it’s about property rights but it’s not. They can still do whatever they want on their property,” Le Donne said.
Opponents as recently as September have gone before the Cass County Planning Commission with their request and plan to keep going back until there’s a decision.