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Citizens seek moratorium on Wind Farm Towers

It wasn't a selfish case of N.I.M.B.Y. - the "Not In My Back Yard" syndrome -- that inspired Aaron Fisher and a couple of other Spanish Fork residents to rise to the podium at the February 7, 2006 City Council meeting and state their case against wind towers. The concerned property owners just wanted to take pause, investigate what it is that Wasatch Wind, LLC is building in the Spanish Fork Canyon and get community approval to continue with the testing of the 82 meter meteorological tower which Wasatch Wind has installed to verify wind speeds.

After requesting a temporary halt to Wasatch Wind's research project, Fisher said "We need to gather more public opinion. We don't know the size or magnitude of this."

He said he had seen a Power Point presentation on TV Channel 17 concerning the test tower and said "This thing (the tower) is huge. It's larger than the Statue of Liberty."

The Statue of Liberty from the foundation to the torch measures 305 feet, six inches while the statue itself, from base to torch, is 151 feet, 11 inches. At the 12/20/05 City Council meeting, Tracy Livingston, Owner/Manager of Wasatch Wind, LLC stated the tower in question is 260 feet in height, thus making it approximately 108 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty itself and only 45 feet smaller than the total height of the Liberty Island installation.

Livingston's presence at the 12/20/05 meeting was to request an extension of the lease his company has for City property on which the tower sits. Apparently the lease had run out at the beginning of December 2005. The Council voted to extend the lease on the property, which is commonly know as the Olsen Well Property. Rent paid to the City is $500 for the term of one year plus $10 per month for the electrical power needed... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
After requesting a temporary halt to Wasatch Wind's research project, Fisher said "We need to gather more public opinion. We don't know the size or magnitude of this."

He said he had seen a Power Point presentation on TV Channel 17 concerning the test tower and said "This thing (the tower) is huge. It's larger than the Statue of Liberty."

The Statue of Liberty from the foundation to the torch measures 305 feet, six inches while the statue itself, from base to torch, is 151 feet, 11 inches. At the 12/20/05 City Council meeting, Tracy Livingston, Owner/Manager of Wasatch Wind, LLC stated the tower in question is 260 feet in height, thus making it approximately 108 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty itself and only 45 feet smaller than the total height of the Liberty Island installation.

Livingston's presence at the 12/20/05 meeting was to request an extension of the lease his company has for City property on which the tower sits. Apparently the lease had run out at the beginning of December 2005. The Council voted to extend the lease on the property, which is commonly know as the Olsen Well Property. Rent paid to the City is $500 for the term of one year plus $10 per month for the electrical power needed to operate the required strobe lights at the top of the test tower.

Fisher, the resident who requested the moratorium, also questioned the legality of the whole test operation. "We need to get input from Wasatch residents who live under the shadow of windmills," he said.

"Windmills don't benefit Spanish Fork at all."

He brought up the possibility of the effect on property values, saying that people don't want to live under such shadows. He spoke of the spectacular views from his property. "I know I don't have a right to this view but I bought into the neighborhood because of it."

He spoke of angry neighbors, such as he, and commented that 75 per cent of the residents don't want the wind tower.

Fisher questioned the environmental effect such towers might have -- the safety, the noise, the question of how well they would be maintained. He finished his impassioned comments with a question. "Is it too late?"

Kip Rasmussen, another resident of the same area, came to the microphone to state, "I am strongly opposed. I chose this area for its amazing view. I went to the Council meeting (12/20/05) and felt things had already been decided on. I don't want to prevent the City from progressing but this is industrialization of a residential area."

The tower is for testing wind velocities for potential wind turbines, five of which have been ordered. They will be installed in a small wind farm once data from the test tower is correlated with other information the company is gathering.

Mayor Pro Tem Matt Barber (sitting in for Mayor Thomas) wrapped up the Public Comment session by congratulating citizens for staying abreast of community affairs. "The purpose of the council is to make this process less intimidating, more approachable," he said. "There's a lot of other information that we can get to the people. I like to see their involvement."

The issue of a moratorium on wind tower testing was tabled and will be brought up at a future City Council meeting..

Source: http://www.heraldextra.com/...

FEB 16 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/1418-citizens-seek-moratorium-on-wind-farm-towers
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