Lincoln County Votes On Wind Turbine Restriction
Restriction Would Put Turbines A Half Mile From Habitable Structures
LINCOLN COUNTY, S.D. – Today marked a major vote on wind turbine restrictions in Lincoln County. Residents voted on policies that could make establishing wind farms in the area more challenging for energy companies.
“This helps an awful lot amount of people that need money and it’s not tax dollars. It would help the economy,” said the Mayor of Beresford, Jim Fedderson.
That’s the pitch proponents of new wind turbines used today. They were hoping people vote “no” to stricter rules to build them. Those who voted “yes” want the wind turbines to be built a half-mile away from structures like homes in Lincoln County. “We-Care South Dakota” said the restriction is essential for the health of residents.
“An ethanol plant has to be a certain distance from a home whether it’s for noise or other things like that. Just because a wind turbine is renewable energy, doesn’t mean you can just set it wherever you want,” said the Active President of “We-Care South Dakota,” David Brouwer.
The Mayor of Beresford said windmills will only be built in groups of 3 or 4 for each section of land; so it won’t be an issue for those who think they’re an eyesore. He said the wind turbine project would also have numerous benefits for the county. It could generate up to 25 million dollars – money to help things like schools and roads. He said a “yes” vote would put the whole project in jeopardy.
“If they had been a half of mile like they are trying to change them to today, we never would have been here in the first place because it just doesn’t work at a half of mile,” said Fedderson.
Fedderson said people who are against the wind turbines remind him of when people protested electricity poles. He said this time around is no different, but opponents said this isn’t the same, because they believe turbines would depreciate home values.
“It is different, it’s not just the tower. It’s the flicker, it’s the lights that are going off all the time,” said Brouwer.
According to supporters of wind farms. the noise level of a turbine is about the level of a typical refrigerator.