9/28/08 What Happened on Thursday in Grant County after the word got out about the wind farm planned there? Worried residents packed the Smelser town hall and took action. (UPDATED 9/29/08)
Could it have been the threat of 40 story wind turbines being built 1000 feet from their homes?
The town of Smelser in Grant County joins the long list of rural communities being aggressively targeted by wind developers.
SMELSER TOWN HALL,
THURSDAY NIGHT: In response to news about the industrial scale wind development planned for their community, residents packed the Smelser Town Hall in Wisconsin's Grant County for a special meeting called to vote on set backs from their homes.
It was standing-room only in the town hall.
Says one attendee: "The town's attorney was not even there. The chair read a letter that sounded like it was from the town's attorney and it turned out to be from the Towns Association legal counsel and was poorly done I thought. "
A fellow who appeared to be some sort of hired journalist paid by the wind developers to visit wind farms and give a talk about to Grant County residents, didn't visit the most recent wind farm in Dodge and Fond du Lac counties where residents have been complaining about turbine noise and shadow-flicker since 86 turbines went on line in March of 2008 .
Instead he visited a few wind farms including the one in Monfort, where the turbines are at least ten stories shorter than the ones being proposed in Grant County.
He told the crowd the worst complaint he heard was about serious shadow flicker.
But were the residents buying it?
A resident who has been living with turbine noise in Fond du Lac County stood up to tell the crowd a very different story-- he's been living in a wind farm since March and spoke about his first-hand experience with living round-the-clock with wind turbines. He spoke about the problems his family has had with turbine noise and other ways the turbines have their daily lives.
The town clerk let the crowd know that a special meeting had rules similar to an annual meeting. This meant the residents could vote on 90 day moratorium on wind development. The motion passed 78-19.
One of the wind developers warned the crowd that voting in a moratorium would kill the project.
The moratorium time will be used to research and develop a wind ordinance that will protect the health, safety and welfare of this community.
We'd like to thank attendee who sent us these photos and this report.