By Eric Andreychuk
REESE — Concerned citizens in Denmark Township held an informational/open forum meeting on Thursday at Reese Middle School to educate and pose questions about the possibility of wind turbines coming to the area.
With all the controversy with their neighbors to the north in Merritt Township, which has seen plenty of coverage by local media outlets, organizers felt this would be a good opportunity for residents to ask questions and start researching before any ordinance decisions were made by the township board.
Residents in Merritt Township are torn on a $250 million wind energy project by NextEra Energy. Officials from the company have said the project could generate $50 million in lease payments to landowners, $19 million in property taxes and provide $21 million in wages and benefits over the span of the project. The project would stretch across Bay, Saginaw and Tuscola counties.
Dispute in Merritt Township stems from an ordinance made in 2010 that made the minimum distance between a wind turbine and a residence at a quarter-mile. A group of residents called the “Concerned Citizens of Merritt Township” would like to see that increased to a half-mile.
The concerned citizens of Denmark Township invited three speakers to attend the meeting to give their perspectives on wind turbines and ordinance issues.
Kevon Martis, of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, was the keynote speaker and addressed issues that he, along with his neighbors, faced in Riga Township, located in Lenawee County near Ohio.
Martis claimed there are 80-90 possible locations around Reese that could serve as possible sites for wind turbines.
He addressed several items concerning ordinance issues, tax revenue, decommissioning, property values and safety.
Martis, along with the other speakers, also addressed personal preference regarding noise levels and the shadow flicker effect.
All three speakers urged residents to research and inform their township officials how they stand before decisions are made.
By Eric Andreychuk