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April 16, 2021

3/2/2021 2:27:00 PM
Concern about wind farm

Dear Editor;
We are deeply concerned about the proposed wind farm of Pattern LLC, which would be the 2nd largest wind farm in the Midwest. Our Board of County Supervisors needs to host information meetings with Pattern LLC and the public, something they should have clearly heard at their February 16 meeting. The public needs to know both the potential opportunities and risks; the county has the power and responsibility make these known through open meetings and a web-based information board accessible to all at any time.
Our County ordinance for wind turbines needs to be updated now before it is too late to protect us. The County needs to adopt the protections of the PSC of WI that offer significantly more protection than our current ordinances. Counties and municipalities must formally adopt for them to be enforceable.
Chair John Meyers needs to recuse himself from any decisions regarding the ordinances and any aspects of the proposed wind farm as he has indicated publicly that he works daily with Pattern through his employment, a clear conflict of interest. Rather he should be using his contacts with Pattern and his leadership role to get the information meetings and a web-based information site that is clearly in demand by many citizens of Iowa County.
Land-owners, the townships and the county each have leverage in negotiating with Pattern. They need to learn about their leverage points so that we avoid the risks and enjoy the benefits if this project comes to pass.
As landowners we cannot afford for our property values to decline as frequently happens near wind farms of far less size than this. Our farm and the brand we've worked incredibly hard to develop for the last 18 years at great expense IS our retirement. Until we know more about this project, our plans to expand our farm operations and to hire more people are on hold.
We urge our Supervisors to do their jobs to update our ordinances, thoroughly inform the public on all aspects of the proposed project, and for the Chair to recuse himself of any decision-making in relation to this project. We urge our fellow landowners to think deeply and cautiously about the long-term consequences of signing leases for both themselves, their neighbors, and the county's future.
Deirdre M. Birmingham
John B. Biondi, Jr.
Mineral Point, WI

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