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Turbine foes make a point

February 14, 2012

    A group of area residents led by Hilary Shifferly of rural Decatur gave a power point presentation to the Adams County Commissioners Monday regarding the proposal of a wind test tower in Adams County.
    Shifferly presented commissioners with data she has gathered from various agencies regarding what the group feels are adverse affects caused by the operation of wind turbines.
    As previously noted by Adams County Attorney Mark Burry, to date there are no applications on file with the county for a wind farm in Adams County.
    Shifferly noted that the group wanted to address their concerns to commissioners before such a proposal is made, stating that once a proposal is made, as long as that proposal falls within current ordinance guidelines, the county has little recourse.
    Among the concerns expressed by Shifferly were possible noise disturbances and safety issues, such as fire or a collapse of the tower.
    According to Shifferly, the turbines run at approximately 50 decibels, which the group feels would be disruptive during evening hours.
    Commissioner Kim Fruechte noted that, according to Shifferly's presentation, a person speaking at a normal level averages 60 decibels, 10 fewer decibels than the proposed tower.
    Shifferly responded by saying "I wouldn't want to try to sleep through someone speaking to me."
    Adams County Commissioner Ed Coil commented that commissioners have also heard from residents who are in favor of the proposed wind test tower, and the possibility of a turbine farm in Adams County's future.
    Shifferly conceded that while there are some residents who are in favor of the proposed test tower, she has only been contacted by three people who are supporting the issue.
    Shifferly concluded the presentation by asking the commissioners for an immediate moratorium to repeal the current ordinance and to have a temporary ban placed on wind turbines in Adams County.
    All three commissioners agreed that the group presented enough evidence to merit a second look at the ordinance, and Chairman Doug Bauman said that the commissioners would make that recommendation to the Adams County Plan Commission.
    Burry reminded the group that all the commissioners can do at this point is make the recommendation to the plan commission. The plan commission then decides whether changes need to be made and, if so, what those changes should be.
    The plan commission would then submit the new ordinance, or variance, along with a recommendation, to the county commissioners for a vote, according to Burry.
    All three commissioners thanked the group for being "very professional"  and presenting their concerns with a clear, calm demeanor.

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