Mr. Bates recent letter concerning the Garden Peninsula wind farm was incorrect or misleading in nearly every aspect. It always bothers me when thoughts and assumptions are put forward as facts, so I would like to clear up a few things with some actual facts.
Wind turbines have been operating here for two years, not several, and yes they are worth a visit. You may find them ugly or you may find them majestic. The fact is, after awhile, they simply become part of the scenery that, despite their size, you can actually choose to ignore if you want to.
The for sale signs began increasing in 2009, one year after the economy took a dive. A realtor, who really doesn't care for wind turbines, stated they could find no true correlation between turbines coming in and a drop in land values or the realty market. Our assessor agrees.
Phase 1 has 14 turbines. Phase 2 could consist of up to 30 turbines, probably less but not 52. They would all be south of Garden but spread over a 12 mile long area. The Village of Garden will not be surrounded by an Industrial sized generating facility. Transmission lines will be built, both above and below ground, but no new substation as the Garden Station has the potential capacity to easily handle the additional turbines.
After one year into the post construction bird kill study, with an average of four found per turbine, it is proving, once again, that of all the predators, both natural and manmade, wind turbines are at the bottom of the list.
The economic value to the area, during construction and continuing today with the increased tax base for the township and the royalties being paid to lease holders, is undeniable. in 2013 Garden Township received an additional $72,000 in tax revenue because of the wind farm.
Yes, our friendly community was strained for awhile but neighbors are still friends, and, for the most part, have figured out how to work past this.
My clear conclusion to all this is that while it isn't working for everyone, as a whole putting wind turbines on the Garden Peninsula was no mistake. And, I believe, the good men and women of Garden and Fairbanks Township Boards are quite adequate governmental representation for our quiet, backwater peninsula. Thank you Delta County for respecting that.