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Rushcreek Township resolution opposing Scioto Ridge wind energy facility

The Trustees of Rushcreek Township in Logan County, Ohio passed this resolution requesting that the Ohio Power Siting Board deny the Scioto Ridge wind energy facility proposed by Everpower Wind. The text of the resolution is provided below. The full resolution can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.

WHEREAS the township residents believe any industrial wind installation will, by its construction and opera- tion, have the same irreversible short- and long-term negative impacts upon the township as other such projects have had on the individuals, businesses, communities, townships, counties, states, provinces, and nations in which they are constructed and operating.

WHEREAS personal property rights of leaseholders and non-leaseholders alike are negatively affected within industrial wind installations. These limited or excluded rights include: unwanted construction restraints upon one’s and others’ property; communications interference; limits on agricultural, recreational, and personal ac- cess, usage, and safety; and intrusion of audible and inaudible sound vibrations and shadow flicker into our township’s very serene ambience. Our township’s desirable serenity has been chosen by the residents who live here, businesses who operate here, and tourists who visit here.

WHEREAS the safety and health rights of township residents--of all generations currently living and future generations, commercial employers and employees, recreational participants, and tourists will be compromised. These safety and health issues include elimination of medical evacuation by air; insomnia and the many physi- cal, mental, and neurological illnesses it causes; fire; blade shear and tower collapse; blade and ice throw; petro- leum leakage; ear problems, dizziness, migraines and other neurological effects; and shadow flicker on persons as they use residences, businesses, and the landscape.

WHEREAS the current setbacks of turbines from residences, property lines, roads, etc. proposed in said project and those allowed by Ohio law is a plundering of the health, safety, and security of the people of this township (and all townships within or near the project footprint). With population density of 45.14 persons per square mile in Rushcreek Township, even wind industry “best practices” create economic, health, and safety carnage.

WHEREAS the US Geological Survey has determined that “the greatest concentrations of sinkholes [within the Bellefontaine Outlier] are present in McArthur and Rushcreek Townships of Logan County, where the density of sinkholes in some areas approaches 30 per square mile.”

WHEREAS numerous temporary local jobs and trickle down economy is promised, construction of these proj- ects require specialized, experienced personnel unlikely to be found locally, resulting in few of the many prom- ised temporary local jobs. Also, within the area of such projects, numerous permanent jobs are eventually lost because of devaluation of the area.

WHEREAS federal and state laws cause the Ohio taxpayers to pay millions of dollars to prop up this inefficient, unpredictable energy source, leaving other more reliable energy sources without such subsidies. According to Americans for Prosperity, “Even though the wind industry produces only 3.5% of the country’s electricity, it re- ceives 42% of the federal government’s electrical financial support.” Ohio has been high on the list of the states whose taxpayers have paid millions.

WHEREAS our township economy is mostly agricultural, the economic promises of this wind installation masks the reduction in crop acreage, reduction in crop production, elimination of aerial crop treatments, in- crease in crop insurance liability, deflection of current drainage, large concrete pads which will not be removed in entirety at decommissioning, possible upset in insect pollination and ecological balance, and empty promises of predictable income from unpredictable wind generation.

WHEREAS property within and near industrial wind installations is devalued, thereby plundering the financial stability and viability of owners of such property--be it residental, agricultural, private, corporate, or other, as well as the entire community in which the installation is located. Our residents are concerned about how this af- fects development, schools, and personal finances. This devaluation is plunder, paid for by taxpayers upfront by subsidies, again in high energy prices from renewable energy portfolio mandates, again in shifting of tax base, and again in the economic fallout.

WHEREAS our township residents value human relationships above supporting corporations. Community rela- tions in other projects are strained. This breakdown in relations affects human health and commerce.

WHEREAS the ownership of project assets is likely to change any time within the duration of the project--from planning, to construction, to operation, to decommission, our township residents do not like the possibility of unknown and undesirable entities owning leases to our township residents’ properties. Similar projects have a history of great up-front promises, but the serial project owners providing no real recourses which address prob- lems endured.

WHEREAS township residents will by necessity assume higher liability and financial burdens for losses such as crops, fire, personal injury, and medical expenses.

WHEREAS SB 232 Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) results in county commissioners becoming tax abators, deferring funds away from townships and counties. The County Commisioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) observes that the stakeholders, including educational community, asked for minimum PILOT of $12,000 -$15,000 per megawatt of nameplate capacity, but Ohio law maximum only provides $9,000; Ohio schools lose real estate property base; property values are affected; the remaining real estate taxpayers bear a higher tax percentage; school permanent improvement levies and emergency school levies become higher; and state school funding formula for a district is adjusted.3 In HB 464 testimony,AmericanWind EnergyAssociation lobbyist Dayna Baird said, “Tax attorneys retained byAWEA found the projected tax burden in Ohio to be $40,000 per megawatt, compared to $10,000 in Illinois – currently considered the highest in the region – to $4,500 in Penn- sylvania, considered the lowest. That puts the tax burden for wind energy projects in Ohio anywhere between three and 10 times our neighboring states.”

WHEREAS the heavy equipment used during construction will cause expensive road and drainage issues. The township cannot afford either expensive repairs nor litigation to see that any wind companymake due repairs and compensation.

WHEREAS the environmental effects such as redirection of agricultural water drainage, and reduction of bird and bat populations will affect our agricultural, recreational, and tourism economy. With Ohio Department of Natural Resources currently studying white-nose syndrome in bat populations in our township, further reduction in bat population from a wind installation is not welcome. In addition, the enjoyment of the desirable natural ecology, aesthetics, and rural lifestyle of our township will be permanently degraded.

WHEREAS the nature of our township is rural, it presents intangible values which are appreciated by those liv- ing, touring, and conducting business here. Such industrialization plunders our right of pursuit of happiness.

WHEREAS the decommissioning funds currently or projected to be available are grossly inefficient to remove all installation equipment, turbine towers, lines, and pads.

WHEREAS other such projects in the US and worldwide have delivered irreparable financial loss, suffering, and grief to residents, to economy, to commerce, and to environment, our township should not be expected to be doomed by State of Ohio officials to repeat such mistakes. Should a wind installation be constructed in our township, it must be reality only because the free market supports it as a viable, reliable, economic energy source.

WHEREAS the public interest demands the hereinafter described,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Trustees of the Township of Rushcreek, the County of Logan, OH earnestly recommends that the Ohio Power Siting Board deny the application for the Scioto RidgeWind Installation and all other such industrial wind installations within this township.

THEREUPON, Trustee motioned

THEREUPON, Trustee seconded and upon the roll being called the result of the vote was as follows: The Trustees of Rushcreek Township, County of Logan, Ohio

ACCEPTED AND APPROVED to recommend that the Ohio Power Siting Board deny the application for Scioto RidgeWind Installation and all other industrial wind installations within this township.

I further certify that said Resolution and the action of said Board of Trustees in Vol. at page , under date of , and transmitted to Ohio Power Siting Board on date of .
Fiscal Officer, Board of Trustees of Rushcreek Township, County of Logan, Ohio

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MAR 12 2014
http://www.windaction.org/posts/40014-rushcreek-township-resolution-opposing-scioto-ridge-wind-energy-facility
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