To me, the crux of the wind farm debate is home value.
Is wind power so important that certain homeowners in Riga, Ogden and Palmyra townships should sacrifice the value of their most valuable investments?
If it is, then the wind energy companies should pony up.
We can end the setback argument in Riga Township, a dispute that will almost certainly cost some local politicians their chair at the table, if we can find a way to make the wind energy companies put their money where their mouths are.
If these 486-foot tall fun trick noisemakers can be placed 1,000 feet away from a home without negatively affecting the home’s value, as JUWI wind energy officials say, then the wind companies should have no problem guaranteeing the home value of any property within 2,000 feet of the structure.
So I propose allowing these contraptions in Riga. But the wind companies need to be ready to buy these homes to make it happen. We need a baseline property assessment. And if, indexed to regional property values, the value of these neighboring homes plummet, the wind energy companies need to be ready to pony up.
So if a home worth $200,000 before the wind turbine is suddenly worth $140,000 after the installation while regional home values are stable, the wind energy companies are on the hook for $60,000. Or, the wind energy companies could just buy the house for the $200,000 and do what it wants.
Seriously, folks, enough people in Michigan have experienced the backbreaking strain that comes with plummeting home value. Why on God’s green Earth would we set out on a project that would cripple home values all over our local region without trying to insure our residents against it?
There are two kinds of green earths. There’s the kind that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. And there’s the kind that makes you feel nauseous and corrupted. It’s time to get real. Wind power, from a distance, makes people feel warm and fuzzy. But in large part, it’s a money-making scheme backed by giant tax breaks. Let’s all hope it works. Let’s all hope that renewable energy is cost effective one day. Let’s even offer up our land and invite these wind turbines into our backyards.
But let’s not forget that this about money to the wind energy companies, to the manufacturers, and to the township board members who’ve signed the leases to have these things on the property. And they should not make money at the expense of the homeowners in Riga, Ogden and Palmyra townships.
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http://www.blissfieldadvance.com/blog/lets-end-wind-turbine-debateLet’s End the Wind Turbine Debate
blog | November 9, 2010 | By Tran Longmoore, Blissfield Advance