2014-08-28 / Views

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Recently, a neighboring Cooks farmer wrote a compelling letter regarding a farmer’s need to subsidize his/her income (hence why they signed a wind turbine lease with Heritage Energy). I can relate to that having been married to a dairy farmer for nine years with only 80-100 cows, we purchased all the feed and leased our field to another farmer.

One thing that baffled/surprised me was that farmer received a government subsidy not to raise corn yet grew sorghum instead. Possibly other farmers can do this to supplement their incomes without disturbing neighbor’s rights. This is a website that lists subsidies and who receives them: http://farm.ewg.org/index. php?key=nosign#.U-_ TOEqAzn8. email.

Another comment made on different occasions references a County Zoning Board of Appeals meeting (April 17, 2012) for Heritage’s wind test tower in Cooks. They each asked why so much opposition now when only six people bothered to show up for this public hearing.

According to the meeting’s legal minutes; 10 community members, two Heritage representatives, and the zoning board attended. In those minutes, one female community member stated not wanting windmills and was told “this hearing was for a test tower only, and that her comment did not pertain to this hearing.”

This was the same answer others received when inquired about this hearing.

The same people concerned today are the same people who were never given an opportunity to speak up until now, after lease holders were signed into Heritage’s scheme of placing windmills here even though our ordinance at the time leases were signed said absolutely no windmills.

Now that commissioners approved an ordinance that does allow windmills, just not the 600 feet mills they are considering for Cooks (they have approximately 490 feet in Garden), and with setbacks further from non-lease signers homes then they’d like, they claim this ordinance is exclusive.

It’s not exclusive, it’s restrictive – big difference! It now protects those of us who are opposed to having turbines placed so close to our homes and create a negative impact on the health and safety of our lives as well as decreasing property values.

Another interesting point found in the same official minutes, Heritage’s representative stated “that she is the project manager for this project … the equipment (test tower) will measure wind, and they will set up a base line. They will also consult with DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, and attempt to build a relationship with the community to get their feed back.”

Well, we certainly know how they consulted the US Fish and Wildlife by simply ignoring those guidelines in Garden.

Then this past June during a Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners meeting, another Heritage represented said they’d do the same in Garden if they had to do it all over again.

As far as building a relationship with the community ... I’ve never had any opportunities to speak my peace until this spring. Many thanks to our county commissioners and Inwood Township officials!

Sincerely,

Sandy Brooks

Cooks

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