Editor’s note: Don Eggenschwiller, President of Logan-Hardin Neighbors United, submitted the following after articles concerning wind turbines appeared in the Feb. 25 edition of the River Current and Indian Lake Current.
It will help to understand the ‘’forces’’ that came into play after the State of Ohio let it be known that they would welcome electric energy produced by wind driven turbines. The state created a board to receive and approve plans from companies who wanted to erect turbines. Interestingly for our situation trying to protect an 8000 acre state park that included Indian Lake and the surrounding environs, was the fact that the governor appointed the head of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which ”owns’’ and is charged with protecting Indian Lake to this board. Even more baffling is that this member of the Siting Board approved the plan to allow 500 turbines to be erected about ¼ mile from Indian Lake state park. As Logan County residents heard more and more about the ’plan’ they came together in a wide variety of meetings and gatherings to explore what could be done about the situation. A wide range of information was presented at meetings.
Groups were formed, signs purchased, web sites created. Also the citizens went to their elected officials in Logan County and expressed their concern. In response to their voters resolutions were passed to oppose the plans of EverPower for 176 turbines in Logan County. Bell Center; Richland Township; Stokes Township: and the Village of Russell’s Point all passed resolutions. The Logan county group was seeing some results. At this same time Hardin County Commissioners had already voted to ‘’endorse’’ wind turbines.
As the issue progressed we felt some synergy might be gained if we merged our 2 groups from Logan and Hardin. We Incorporated Logan-Harden County Neighbors United, and pushed on.
We appealed to the Siting Board several areas and situations that we felt were wrong. Claims denied. Eventually we appealed these alleged violations to the Ohio Supreme Court. During all the steps Logan County residents and property owners and business owners, mostly from Indian Lake area, were active in raising funds to fight our cause.
As we were nearing a ‘court date’ an area of dialog was opened between our group and EverPower. After the first meeting with EverPower, and the second meeting of the group, the folks from Fight the Wind stated they were not interested in negotiating a partial reduction for turbines, only a complete removal of all 176 turbines in the EverPower, Scioto Ridge project would be acceptable. They were advised that the majority of the Board members felt it was in the interest of all stakeholders to explore the issue further whereupon the Officers on our Board from the Fight the Wind group rose resigned and left.
Stake holders around Indian Lake State park have carried most of the burden, they raised about $50,000 to pay legal bills and such, won support of village councils and township trustees. The reaming Board members felt they would be remiss in obligations to our neighbors if we did not pursue negations for removal of turbines.
In our case before the Supreme Court, we had no idea if we would win or lose 4 or 5 other people were also listed as interveners. When we agreed to withdraw our case all these others withdrew their cases. We made no move to withdraw until we reached the agreement which was ultimately approved. In our negations with EverPower we wanted all turbines removed, they wanted none removed. And so we began negotiating with a legal corporation, who had a plan to build 176 turbines which was approved by the state governing body, the state of Ohio as well as one of the members of the Sighting Board is the Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources who voted to approve the plan.
The board members of the Logan-Hardin United group labored long and worried much, about how to protect our valued state park. Issues such as should we trade this one for that one? etc.
In conclusion, the Board’s efforts will see 65 turbines removed from the project or 38%. No turbines will be closer than 5 miles from the north side. From the south side of the lake in Russell’s Point and Lakeview, turbines will be nearly 8 miles away. Might there be some visibility, yes. Will they dominate the landscape of The Ohio State park, Indian Lake, we think not.
For maps and notes the file is available on line from the state siting board.
On behalf of our Board members we submit this to inform all of the efforts, stake holders performed to arrive at this conclusion.