5/6/10 The sad fate of a home in a Wisconsin Wind Farm: Sheriff sells it to New York bank at a price below the opening bid.
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: Better Plan has been following the Wirtz family story since our first interview with them in June of 2009 on the day they decided to abandon their home because of noise and vibration from the turbine in the photo below.
You can read our first interview with the family by CLICKING HERE
The Wirtz family had been living in and renovating the 100 year old home pictured below for 12 years before Invenergy began erecting 86 industrial scale wind turbines. The 400 foot structures are sited as close as 1000 feet from non-participating homes.The turbine in this photo is located 1250 feet from the Wirtz home.
They were unable to find anyone willing to purchase the property and say they were unable to stay because of the deterioration of the family's health due to loss of sustained sleep because of tubine noise and vibration.
We spoke with Ann Wirtz, who attended the May 4th Wind Siting Council meeting at the home of council member Larry Wunsh. Wunsch, a fire fighter, lives in the same Invenergy project and spoke to the council about the turbine noise which keeps he and his wife awake at night.
At the same time Wunsch was speaking, Ann told us her home was being auctioned at a sheriff's sale. Though the home had appraised for $320,000 in 2007, the opening bid on the house was $107,000.
Even at that price it found no local buyers. The Bank of New York Mellon took ownership at a price of $106,740.
Better Plan was glad to hear from Ann that the Wirtz family's health has greatly improved since they moved to the village of Oakfield.
Both Ann and Jason Wirtz grew up in rural Wisconsin and intended to raise their children in their 100 year old farmhouse.
Both decided it was not worth the cost of their family's health to remain in the Invenergy Forward Energy wind project, even if it meant losing all they had.
They do have their health, but what a price they have had to pay.
Most members of Wisconsin's wind siting council continue to claim there is no effect on property value when wind turbines are built so near a home.
They continue to claim there are no negative health effects from living too close to wind turbines.
The Wirtz family begs to differ.
Council member Larry Wunsch's home is now for sale.
The closest turbine to his door is 1100 feet away.
The Wind Siting Council will be creating siting guidelines for wind turbines for the entire state of Wisconsin.
More than two thirds of the council members have direct or indirect financial interest in the outcome of these rules.
WIND FARM PROPERTY SOLD AT SHERIFF'S SALE
SOURCE: The Daily Reporter, dailyreporter.com
May 6, 2010
By Paul Snyder
The attorney representing two Oakfield residents in a case against Chicago-based Invenergy LLC wants the results of a sheriff’s sale this week to convince the state to review the case.
Madison-based attorney Ed Marion on Thursday sent a letter to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, requesting it consider new facts in Ann and Jason Wirtz’s case against Invenergy.
The Wirtzes abandoned their home in Brownsville last year after Invenergy’s Forward Energy Wind Center became operational in 2008. The property, appraised at $320,000 in 2007, sold to the Bank of New York Mellon at a sheriff’s sale Tuesday for $106,740.
“I hope it will influence the commission to look favorably, at least, at giving us our day in court,” Marion said.
The Wirtzes want the PSC to force Invenergy to compensate the family for their losses, although no specific amount is named.
Marion said the PSC has not yet made a decision as to whether it will review the case.