Friends of Buchanan Co. urge caution on wind turbine development

The newly-formed group is circulating petitions asking Buchanan County commissioners to develop regulations allowing for wind turbines to be located no closer than one mile from nonparticipating landowners, schools, churches and wildlife areas.

Posted: Nov 12, 2019 10:47 PM
Updated: Nov 13, 2019 8:30 AM

(BUCHANAN COUNTY, Mo.) --  A new group concerned about the development of wind turbines in eastern Buchanan County met Tuesday night to urge support for county commissioners to come up with strict guidelines to regulate where turbines could be located.

The newly-formed group, Friends of Buchanan County, held an informational session at Bessie Ellison Elementary to ask people to sign a petition that would allow turbines to be built no closer than one mile from nonparticipating land owners, churches, schools or wildlife refuges.

"If you want a wind turbine, you should respect your neighbors who might not want to participate," said Angela Klein, a Buchanan County resident who says she's done a lot of research on wind turbines in other communities.

Ron and Pat Fisher have lived in their eastern Buchanan County home for the past 38 years. They say they love their country living and worry about the possibility of new wind turbines being built near them.

"I'll be looking at them every sunset that we enjoy looking at every eveninig, especially this time of year," said Ron Fisher.

Friends of Buchanan County organizers say they have already have 200 petition signatures. They say they want to present county commissioners with 1,000 signatures to urge them to consider their position carefully.

St. Joseph radio personality Barry Birr has gotten involved in the debate. He says he's concerned about the property rights of landowners who could potentially live near turbines.

Klein also says she doesn't believe that wind power is totally clean and green and that it leaves its own carbon footprint.

"They have to be manufactured. They have to be transported. They need oil to run the turbin. You take all that into consideration and you add the concrete. Then you add the CO2," she said.

Commissioners have not yet announced any public hearing date to discuss the issue.

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