MV Council acknowledges concerns over wind farms; But opponents seek moratorium on approval of any turbines

November 6, 2008 at 9:30 pm Leave a comment

The Township of Madawaska Valley this week pledged that any decision of the future of wind turbines in the area would be made only after a full public discussion on the issue.

Meanwhile, however, SOS (Save Our Skyline), a group of about 400 citizens opposed to the construction of wind turbines called on the township council to take a cue from a neighbouring council and impose a moratorium on the approval of any large-scale win project until more is known about their impact on the communities in which they are located. In mid-October, council for the Township of South Algonquin imposed a 10-year moratorium on approval of any wind turbine projects.

In their news release, Madawaska Valley councillors noted that while a firm named SkyPower has proposed building six of the massive turbines in the hills north of Wilno, no application for an official plan amendment and zoning bylaw change has been received for the so-called Wilno Wind Project.

The release (a full text of which appears on page two of this issue) says that councillors went on a fact-finding tour of wind farm operations in southern Ontario in early October.

“The tour consisted of a series of meetings with municipal officials, wind developers, landowners and impromptu conversations with business owners and other citizens, all of which gave the township a better understanding of the potential developments in this area,” the news release said. “It also provided a baseline for further education and research on the subject of wind power.”

But at Monday night’s regular council meeting, SOS president and spokesperson Lou Eyamie questioned council’s decision not to meet with opponents of the wind projects in the areas that councillors visited, adding that SOS had offered to supply councillors with the contacts.

He said SOS also had concerns about the quality of information that councillors might have obtained during their trip.

He also said that at one site toured by councillors, the wind turbines were operating at less than 25 per cent capacity on the day of their visit, a fact that would have reduced the noise output considerably.

However, Eyamie also praised council for listening to the concerns of local wind turbine opponents.

“It is very clear to all of us that you have listened to the concerns of the citizens” on the wind farm issue, Eyamie said, adding that it was also good to see that area municipalities are working together on the wind farm issue.

Hildebrandt replied that council is “very much together on this situation.” He says councillors want more information before they make a decision, adding that, “We’re looking at them (turbines) long and hard and very carefully.”

He also said the township would be working together with surrounding communities, but then added:

“Whatever decision we make will be made for what we feel our constituents either want or don’t want.” He pledged that the decision would be reached in “a very, very, very public process.” Furthermore, he said, it won’t happen soon.

By Douglas Gloin

Barry’s Bay This Week

5 November 2008


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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