Letter: Wind project is dividing the community

Wind project is dividing the community

Editor of the Reformer:

I also am a resident of Windham and I have a very different view from a recent commentary ("What kind of community will Windham be?" Aug. 23) concerning what our community will be like with 20 wind turbines (over 600 feet tall) constructed here. The present plan indicates that three quarters of Windham homes will be within two miles of the turbines, the heaviest density in all of New England.

I am especially puzzled by the belief that jobs will be created here by the turbines and that people will be drawn to the area. My husband and I have visited sites in New York, New Hampshire, Illinois and here in Vermont and have personally and informally interviewed residents both who favor and who oppose the projects. In all of the projects we visited, few or no permanent jobs were created. In some cases, a small number of local contractors were hired in the beginning to build access roads, etc., but the project owners brought in their own trained personnel to run the project after the initial phase.

We also found that people are not drawn to towns with wind turbine projects. In fact, people with homes near the projects routinely attempt to sell their properties, often to no avail in spite of decreasing property values. In some areas, a few property owners have abandoned their homes. None of the towns we visited experienced real growth.

Then there is the issue of "social capital." We found that the one issue to which all residents agreed was that these projects tear towns apart with divisiveness. They have caused ruptures in community spirit and cohesiveness that do not easily heal. It is my own belief that social capital is greatly undervalued.

Internet searches certainly have value, but deeper and more thorough investigations are important for a grounding in reality.

Nancy Dyke, Windham, Aug. 30


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