Many residents of North East township are just finding out about the proposed wind turbine project that could place as many as 50 to 75 of the giant, 500 foot tall turbines in an area bounded by I90 and Townline Road with some sections as far north as Sidehill Road. If you are one of those people who wasn’t familiar with this project, you’re not alone.
During the research for this post I spoke to Valerie Myers of the Erie Times News who has written a number of articles on the North East turbines over the last couple of years, and when discussing these with her, she said she had asked Pioneer Green Energy, at least one local landowner and borough and township officials for their input and they gave her their views which she published in the paper. I applaud her efforts, but still, knowledge of the project seems quite limited.
When was the announcement and where is the information?
Have you ever known of any other kind of project that would dramatically change a community, for decades to come and perhaps, forever, without a major public announcement, plentiful information, and time for everyone in the community to learn about it and offer their input? Projects like that are usually heavily promoted by their backers because they want to gain full community support, they’re proud to show you what they’re doing and why. They’ll try to win you over because they know what they’re doing is positive and beneficial. Yet this project in North East, being planned and under discussion among those directly involved for over two years, is only vaguely, if at all, understood, by most residents of the township. Why?
Perhaps simple inattention or the changing media culture meant fewer people read the paper as closely as they once did, or perhaps they thought the project was unlikely to move forward at all, but whatever the reason, it seems it is moving forward and few of us know much about it or have had the chance to voice our opinion and concerns. We need to fix that.
Information and conversation are essential
Any project of this magnitude deserves our full attention. Everyone in this community needs to know exactly what is being planned and there needs to be as much factual information available as possible. No final decisions of any sort should be made until the residents of North East township and borough have had the opportunity to examine input from all sides and a full and transparent conversation has taken place. This is far too important for ordinances to be written or permits to be issued without a very careful examination of the consequences.
We are doing our best to raise awareness and get everyone involved so you can have your say and help in the decision making process.
It’s our community, it’s up to us.
Photo credits: Better Plan Wisconsin