Stanton Township Holds Public Hearing on Wind Farm Proposal | News, sports, jobs
STANTON TOWNSHIP – Approximately 40 people attended a public meeting of the Stanton Township Board of Directors on Wednesday on a proposed wind farm.
About 20 residents spoke. Most were against Circle Energy’s Royal Oak, Michigan project, which would include four 575-foot turbines in Adams Township and eight in Stanton Township.
Each person had three minutes to speak. Local residents expressed concern about the noise and the potential environmental impact of the turbines and turbines even after they were shut down. Many said the turbines would also interfere with visibility from miles away and distract from what is bringing people to the area.
Deb Bartel-Schweitzer, who lives near the property, feared the disruption would affect her property values ââas well. If she had known about the project when she moved from Lansing five years ago, she would not have bought her house, she said.
“Right now I’m looking out of my window, I see a pretty little lake, I see trees … the thought of 600-foot machines spinning in the sky over my property makes me sick.” She said.
Catherine Andrews, a former L’Anse community resident who served on the planning committee, described the community’s opposition to halting the proposed Summit Lake project.
“It really united our community” She said. “It didn’t matter which church you went to or who you were related to.”
She called for a moratorium on the project so that the community can gather more information. Their complaints include the flicker effect caused by the turbine blades and the amount of gas and electricity needed to heat the oil and power the power plant, which would require a larger transmission line.
A handful did not comment, but had questions about the project.
A local resident asked what heavy equipment would do to local roads and whether any company-built roads were snowmobile or side-by-side accessible.
In a response at the end, Chris Moore, a Circle Power partner, said that the equipment from the M-26 would be brought onto roads that were built or reinforced specifically for the equipment handling. Each turbine will be fenced in by 4 hectares. Other streets are not guarded unless the property owner decides to delimit those streets, Moore said.
When asked about a decommissioning plan, Moore replied that it was created and provided by a third party, similar to an insurance agency.
Moore also denied a spokesman’s claims that electricity bills would go up. Circle Power sells two-thirds of the electricity generated by the turbines to Upper Peninsula Power Co. for a flat rate of $ 35 / MWh, which Moore referred to as alse “One of the cheapest renewable energy contracts in the state of Michigan.”
“Whether UPPCO cuts its prices or not is up to them, not me.” he said. “We supply you with inexpensive electricity.”
The turbines would benefit the local economy during the construction period and create two long-term jbos, Moore said. He estimated the property would generate between $ 15 million and $ 20 million in property taxes for Adams Township, Stanton Township, and Houghton Counties over the life of the project.
Local residents’ questions and feedback will be passed on to the Stanton Township attorney who is working on a draft ordinance, Supervisor John Mattila said. Once this is completed, the community will present it at another public hearing, Mattila said.
“After that we have a certain deadline, and a community meeting will vote on whether we will accept or reject the ordinance.” he said.
Since the community has no zoning, it will be a police ordinance, Mattila said.
Adams Township, which also has no zoning, has an ordinance with restrictions like a 3,000-foot setback from the nearest property line.
Answers to local residents’ questions will also be posted on the community’s website at stantontownship.com, Mattila said. A map of the planned wind farm location will also be put online, said Mattila.
Mattila also mentioned a webinar in May on the local impact of wind energy projects led by Sarah Mills from the University of Michigan and Bradley Neumann from Michigan State University Extension. The webinar can be viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=5Yaucgmt9MA.
Adams Township is also planning a public gathering on the project. Earlier this month, township supervisor Gerald Heikkinen said he planned to schedule a hearing after the end of COVID-19 restrictions to accommodate a larger crowd.