Most are supportive of new Michigan wind farm near Breckenridge
Unlike the small minority of anti-wind fearmongers in Wisconsin, residents near the Michigan wind farm unerstand the economic impact of turbines, according to an article by Lisa Satayut in the Midland Daily News:
Most Gratiot County residents who live near the turbines are optimistic about the state’s largest wind farm being in their hometown. Local businesses are even happier.
“They are very helpful to us,” Julie Turner, owner of the Anschutz Café in Breckenridge, said of the workers hired to install the turbines.
Turner does not have a turbine on her property but said she is excited about the project and what it can do for the county.
“The turbines are going to be great for Gratiot County,” she said.
Bethany Township resident Felix Ramirez said the project is going to be a “good deal” but was hoping it would offer jobs to the community.
“It didn’t bring any work for the local people,” he said.
As Ramirez pointed across the street to a local business, Katts Sales, he mentioned how a collection line would be installed under their property.
“They pay this guy to go under his property. I underground it’s here to clear across the railroad tracks,” he said of the line as he pointed to a small piece of land next to his house where it starts.
The owner of Katts Sales, Scott Katt, said he received $45,000 to have five collection lines run below his business. His brother, Dave, also owns the property and the payment was split.
Scott believes the majority of local residents don’t mind the wind turbines, given the revenue they will bring to the county and landowners. He also said some aren’t so happy.
“Some are against it, they don’t want to see these things. They want to sit on their back porch and look at a pine tree and not a windmill,” he said.
“It’s progress — my store’s benefiting from it,” he said.
“How else could my brother and I afford to go to the Detroit Lions game on Monday?” he said, laughing.
His brother Dave lives in Midland County, a few miles from the county border, and said he can see the turbines from his front window.
“When I look out my picture window I can see two of them. I’m not thrilled about looking at them. But, I understand the economic impact it’s going to have,” Dave said.
Scott said in about a year or so no one will even notice the turbines.
“It’s just going to be another part of the landscape,” he said.