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Accusations fly at wind roundtable; Developer pledges to improve communication with community

Evelyn Hayden has already lost a lot of sleep over the Digby Neck Wind Farm-and she expects to lose some more. Hayden, whose home is just 600 metres from the proposed location of one of the 20 turbines that will be built this year, was the first speaker at a March 24 roundtable that focused on the wind park. ...Hayden set the tone for the evening: "This meeting means council will finally listen to our side of the wind park fiasco."

Evelyn Hayden has already lost a lot of sleep over the Digby Neck Wind Farm-and she expects to lose some more. Hayden, whose home is just 600 metres from the proposed location of one of the 20 turbines that will be built this year, was the first speaker at a March 24 roundtable that focused on the wind park.

The meeting, attended by 40 people, was hosted by the Municipality of Digby at the request of a number of Digby Neck residents.

Hayden set the tone for the evening: "This meeting means council will finally listen to our side of the wind park fiasco."

Warden Jim Thurber, deputy warden Jimmy MacAlpine and councilors Linda Gregory and Maritza Adams were on hand to listen, as was Dave Patterson, project manager with Scotian Windfield.

Coun. Randall Amero, a financial investor in wind energy, chose not to attend because of conflict of interest.

Hayden described how every night she now lies in bed listening to the "cah-strum, cah-strum, cah-strum" of a nearby meteorological tower, a device that was put in place to monitor the speed and constancy of the wind.

She anticipates that construction of wind turbines will result in her suffering from ‘wind turbine syndrome'... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Evelyn Hayden has already lost a lot of sleep over the Digby Neck Wind Farm-and she expects to lose some more. Hayden, whose home is just 600 metres from the proposed location of one of the 20 turbines that will be built this year, was the first speaker at a March 24 roundtable that focused on the wind park.

The meeting, attended by 40 people, was hosted by the Municipality of Digby at the request of a number of Digby Neck residents.

Hayden set the tone for the evening: "This meeting means council will finally listen to our side of the wind park fiasco."

Warden Jim Thurber, deputy warden Jimmy MacAlpine and councilors Linda Gregory and Maritza Adams were on hand to listen, as was Dave Patterson, project manager with Scotian Windfield.

Coun. Randall Amero, a financial investor in wind energy, chose not to attend because of conflict of interest.

Hayden described how every night she now lies in bed listening to the "cah-strum, cah-strum, cah-strum" of a nearby meteorological tower, a device that was put in place to monitor the speed and constancy of the wind.

She anticipates that construction of wind turbines will result in her suffering from ‘wind turbine syndrome' since she already suffers from vertigo.

"Council is obviously not concerned about local people," said Hayden. "They could have prevented the issuing of a building permit."

Rossway resident Anna Fabigan asked if the municipality has looked at the possibility of compensating local residents who become sick as a consequence of the wind farm, or whose land is devalued because of the development.

Warden Thurber replied that council has not considered the possibility of compensation, and said information gathered as the municipality drafts a wind turbine bylaw indicates property values do not suffer when wind parks are created nearby.

Realtor Todd Hall disputed Thurber's statement. "If you had the choice of buying a property with a wind turbine nearby, or an identical property without a wind turbine nearby, which would you buy?"

Hayden described the wind farm proponents as "so secretive they remind me of the mafia."

That sentiment was echoed by Daniel Mills, who said the municipality and the developers had colluded to keep local residents in the dark.

Warden Thurber told Mills that he was mistaken, and that Thurber had one meeting with Scotian Windfields in 2007 when representatives of the company told him they would be submitting a proposal to Nova Scotia Power. He did not hear from them again until the announcement last May that the bid was successful.

Debbie VanTassel of Gulliver's Cove said she fears for her flock of emus because they are highly sensitive birds that react adversely to noise.

She also fears for the life of her husband, Davey, who suffers epileptic seizures. VanTassel said she has information from a doctor who contends wind turbines can cause seizures.

Patterson replied that it is possible to adjust the light that passes through turbines. "The light through trees is more likely to trigger seizures than the light through wind turbines," he said.

Judith Peach challenged the integrity of the wind farm developers. "You've applied for a building permit even though you're not ready for construction. You've got time to wait for the bylaw but you chose to undercut the municipal process. Why did you do that? When are you going to start to work with the community?"

Patterson replied that his presence at the meeting was an indication of the company's willingness to work with the community.

Digby Wind Farm will host another public meeting and is in the process of building a website that will have regular updates to keep the community informed of developments and timelines.

Norah Peach asked if it was the policy of council to support green energy.

"Personally, I support green energy-tidal, wind, solar," said Thurber, "but I can't speak for the entire council. And I have to say, if all of these turbines were to be placed on the coast, then you would be complaining about them destroying the natural beauty of the horizon."

Cathy Barr asked if there was anything that could be built on Digby Neck that would be acceptable to the majority of the people at the discussion. "I have children who will be moving away because there is nothing for them here."

Fred Ross, the man who proudly acknowledged that he was instrumental in bringing the wind farm developers to the area, introduced himself by saying that he had lived all his life in the municipality and the past 42 years at Seawall.

"You people didn't want the quarry. People here didn't want the water plant. And where did Michelin go?"

Ross had one more question for his neighbours: "Just when will it be time to say ‘Yes'?"


Source: http://www.novanewsnow.com/...

MAR 30 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19636-accusations-fly-at-wind-roundtable-developer-pledges-to-improve-communication-with-community
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