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Windmills stir up controversy

David Anderson, the Eastern District member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, has been busy in recent days answering phone calls and e-mails from supporters and opponents of a proposed large-scale windmill project. ..."Don't get me wrong, I've heard a lot of positive, and I've heard a lot of negative," Anderson said Tuesday. "There are still people who are very pro-windmill. But the majority of the feedback I've received have been real concerned about the natural beauty of East River Mountain."

A proposed energy project is creating a gusty storm of controversy in Tazewell County.

David Anderson, the Eastern District member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, has been busy in recent days answering phone calls and e-mails from supporters and opponents of a proposed large-scale windmill project. The project involves the construction of as many as 60, 400-foot tall windmills on East River Mountain.

"Don't get me wrong, I've heard a lot of positive, and I've heard a lot of negative," Anderson said Tuesday. "There are still people who are very pro-windmill. But the majority of the feedback I've received have been real concerned about the natural beauty of East River Mountain."

Anderson said the Board of Supervisors will vote to schedule a public hearing on a proposed ridgeline ordinance at their Jan. 5 organizational meeting. However, the actual public hearing won't be held until February 3. Anderson said the Feb. 3 public hearing date is subject to change, and won't be finalized until it is officially scheduled at the Jan. 5 meeting.

Anyone wishing to speak about the windmill project can still attend the Jan. 5 meeting at the Board of Supervisors meeting room on Main Street in... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A proposed energy project is creating a gusty storm of controversy in Tazewell County.

David Anderson, the Eastern District member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, has been busy in recent days answering phone calls and e-mails from supporters and opponents of a proposed large-scale windmill project. The project involves the construction of as many as 60, 400-foot tall windmills on East River Mountain.

"Don't get me wrong, I've heard a lot of positive, and I've heard a lot of negative," Anderson said Tuesday. "There are still people who are very pro-windmill. But the majority of the feedback I've received have been real concerned about the natural beauty of East River Mountain."

Anderson said the Board of Supervisors will vote to schedule a public hearing on a proposed ridgeline ordinance at their Jan. 5 organizational meeting. However, the actual public hearing won't be held until February 3. Anderson said the Feb. 3 public hearing date is subject to change, and won't be finalized until it is officially scheduled at the Jan. 5 meeting.

Anyone wishing to speak about the windmill project can still attend the Jan. 5 meeting at the Board of Supervisors meeting room on Main Street in downtown Tazewell, Anderson said.

"They are more than welcomed to come to the January meeting, which is our organizational meeting," Anderson said. "There is a citizens comment section with everyone of our meetings. They are welcomed to speak, and I've already asked for it to be on the agenda. But it's critical that people attend the public hearing at the February meeting."

Anderson said he is working with the unidentified company to try to schedule a town-hall like meeting in Bluefield, Va. Anderson said he would like for the company to participate in such a public meeting, which could include photographs and videos of what the proposed windmills would look like.

Anderson said two companies - both of which remain unidentified at the moment - have expressed an interest in developing windmills on East River Mountain. However, one of the two companies is actively pursuing the development of 60, 400-foot tall windmills, on East River Mountain, Anderson said.

Without the proposed ridgeline ordinance, Anderson said the Board of Supervisors would be powerless to regulate the proposed development of windmills along East River Mountain. The proposed ordinance would require those companies planning to develop windmills to have their projects approved by the county's Planning Commission.

"We just need to be able to protect that ridgeline," he said.

Anderson said he has received numerous calls and e-mails about the project, including several comments from residents of West Virginia.

"West Virginia is my neighbor," Anderson said. "I work in West Virginia, and I don't pay any attention when I cross that West Virginia-Virginia line."

Anderson said he is trying to return every phone call and e-mail he receives about the windmill project. Anderson said residents seeking information about the windmill project can call him at home at (276) 326-1682.

"Anybody that has called the county administration office, or has sent an e-mail, I've tried to respond to them," Anderson said. "I've tried to get back to every single person who has contacted me."


Source: http://www.bdtonline.com/lo...

DEC 27 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18416-windmills-stir-up-controversy
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