Wind Turbine Proposal for Marshall County Faces Opposition

A crowd of 300-400 people attended a presentation at the Culver Elementary Gymnasium Saturday to listen to an Iowa State professor. In his presentation Roger McEowen talked about the impact of large scale wind power stations on adjacent landowners. The session was of interest to those that attended because of the possibility of 40-70 wind turbines being constructed in the Culver-Argos
area. A company called Next Era Resources is the driving force in placing these turbines in an area of 17,000 acres.

Mc Eowen was asked what problems might arise if the turbines are indeed installed.

“The issue in terms of problems is closely related to siting of the turbines, it all comes down to where they’re placed at. Are they far enough away from other homes, other businesses, airports, all types of aerial crop dusting activities, irrigation activities to minimize problems. So location, location, location that’s the real issue to minimize issues association with these,” said McEowen.

The blades of the proposed turbines would stand on a base of 320 feet, which is even higher than the 300 turbines currently placed in Benton County.

Other problems mentioned by McEowen were of a physical nature. He said many people in the vicinity of the turbines experience headaches, blurred vision, and depression. Going further, he said the blades kill birds and can cause interference to radio and television signals.

While providing an income source for some land owners, others, including homeowners, will see a possible 30% decrease in the value of their property.

And for the landowner who signs a lucrative lease, McEowen said, “all that glitters is not gold.” Those landowners might be setting themselves up to hostility from neighbors, damage to their roads, and fences, and even lawsuits.

To bring the turbines into Marshall and even Fulton counties the company would have to go before zoning appeal boards. But they might not even make it that far, as before the end of the meeting there was talk of a possible petition drive to keep them out.