COLUMBIA CITY – "Wind farmers in Whitley County" is the topic that has flooded The Post & Mail's Opinion pages in recent editions of the newspaper.
"I was 12 years old when rural Whitley County received electricity. However, almost every farm had a windmill, usually located close to the back door of the home.
"They made noise when they were running, made shadow flicker when blades were turning, yet no one got sick or experienced other medical problems.
"I am a former Trustee of Washington Township. I understand budgets, assessed valuations and tax rates.
"A wind farm project of this size will greatly increase total valuation of Whitley County, thus reducing the tax rate for all of Whitley County’s property owners.
"A wind farm will increase the income for farmers who, by the way, pay a very large percentage of property taxes paid in Whitley County . . ."
-- Harold Mullett, rural Columbia City
"The most important thing that people need to remember is that the wind energy ordinance that is currently being drafted includes the entire county – not just three townships (Washington, Cleveland and Jefferson). This means as a Plan Commission member I include in my thought process all of Whitley County, not just the participants (those individuals who have signed a lease agreement with Wind Capitol Group) or the non-participants (individuals who are currently in the potential proposed project area that have not signed a lease agreement). . ."
-- Paula Reimers, Whitley County Council and Plan Commission member
"These so-called “wind-farmers” already receive millions of dollars from the USDA as farm subsidies. Why do we need to give them more money to farm wind? It seems like they are farming more in tax subsidies than agriculture.
"Wind-created electricity is the most expensive power available. It’s a shame that the REMC can’t buy that high-priced electricity, eliminate the need for coal-fired plants, and triple the electric bills of these “Solyndras of agriculture” without also tripling the bills of us losers. Are the “winners” going to help with the “green power” electric bills they helped to create?
"Aren’t our elected Commissioners and appointed Plan Commission supposed to consider the “quality of life” impact of their decisions for the entire county, not just the special interests? Is the Plan Commission supposed to pick the winners and losers for Whitley County? How can they justify creating 150 winners, while creating 33,000 losers? Maybe they need to hear the voices of more potential losers . . ."
-- Terry Smith, Columbia City attorney for Whitley County Patriots
"What I am against is the encroachment of the giant industrial turbines on our rural life-style which tower 400 feet in the air. Smaller less intrusive generators can be a cost-saving supplement to electrical use.
"Ironically, all who clamor for the industrial ones rarely have installed any sort of wind generation for their own use. Why not? The prevailing perception is their lust for money.
"I am also increasingly concerned about the “snake oil” sales pitch our local farmers have been given. Remember the old Western movie where the medicine man shows up selling a wonder cure with promises of good health and prosperity? It is eerily familiar here . . ."
-- Jeff Ott, South Whitley
"To whoever is stealing the blue-and-white signs in favor of the Wind Farm coming to Whitley County, if you would give me a call, I will give you a sign. Call 723-4675. Then you will not have to steal one. Please don’t take anymore . . ."
-- Mary Rubrake, rural South Whitley
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