Letter to the editor: Wind turbines – the other side?

Since last November when those who are against the building of two wind turbines in the south end of Prospect stood in front of the Prospect Town Hall and asked drivers who were passing by to “honk against the turbines”, I have been following this situation closely.

My home is located on New Haven Road (Route 69) between Radio Tower Road and Cook Road. Will we be effected by the wind turbines? I am finding it hard to get a good answer to that question.

If one believes everything one hears from those who are against this project, then it sounds like the Town of Prospect will be forever damaged by letting BNE build the turbines anywhere near anyone.

Here are quotes from the last issue of the Citizen’s News.

(Town Council Chairman Tom Galvin) “Galvin said he visited several wind turbine sites. Some, like the one in Falmouth, Mass., were quite loud, while others, like one In Templeton, Mass., were essentially silent, he said. The latter was located in a school yard. “I can’t imagine that anyone would put one in a school yard unless they were somehow convinced they were safe, Galvin said.

(Mayor Robert Chatfield) About 50 people attended the Town Council Meeting including three representatives from BNE, according to Chatfield. Most of the people he’s heard from who support the turbines don’t live near the proposed site, he said. “It’s a neighborhood issue,” Chatfield said.

That brings to mind two of the most over used acronyms. NIMBY or Not In My Back yard and BANANA or Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody.

Recently, I sent an email to the “noiseyprospect” mail link which is attached to the SOSPROSPECT web site. I asked a lot of questions, but so far no one from the site has answered me.

In my email, I compared the side effects of the wind turbines to living on New Haven Road. The turbines are said to be loud (although according to Mr. Galvin not in the town of Templeton, MA where the turbine is located in a school yard) and so I compared that to just living with the traffic noise on Route 69 which can be so loud that we can’t even talk to each other in our front yard because the noise drowns out normal speech.

I wanted to know if those who are concerned with the noise of the turbines at night even have their windows open at night in the spring and summer months? Do these people have central air or even window units which will be running all night (using electricity that the turbines would produce) and not even hear the noise that some (and now according to Mr. Galvin not all) of the turbines are said to produce?

The turbines are said to throw ice and snow. The ST of CT DOT trucks race up and down Route 69 every winter throwing snow, ice and sand and not just at a few houses but at every house on the road. No one is safe from the DOT trucks, but do residents complain and ask that the State of Ct stop plowing the roads?

Residents are worried about injury from the turbines to wild life and to people. New Haven Road traffic kills a lot of wild life every year and also New Haven Road traffic has taken the lives of many people as well. In April of 2007 fourteen year old Matthew Kenney was killed by a driver who was going too fast and who was trying to pass too many cars on a typical foggy Prospect spring evening. Matthew fell off the hood of the car that David Weaving was driving and landed right at the end of my driveway. My neighbors and I stood helpless waiting for the ambulance to arrive. As most everyone knows, the EMTs couldn’t help and Matthew died. Will the wind turbines cause that kind of tragedy or emotional scaring?

New Haven Road is accepted as a necessary “evil”. We need the road and so while we might be upset by the effects of using it, we would never think of petitioning the State of Connecticut to close it. But the only income that the road generates comes from the speeding tickets given out by local and State Police and the only other profit from having this noisy and sometimes deadly asphalt snake in our midst goes to Buckmiller Brothers and other area funeral homes. Isn’t it true that the wind turbines will generate not only electric power but also beneficial tax revenue?

Right now I can’t decide if these turbines are good for Prospect or bad for the people who live close to them. I do know that Mayor Chatfield is right about this being a neighborhood issue and anyone can see that because there are plenty of signs on New Haven Road put up by those who are against the turbines but I have only seen one sign on Scott Road and no signs on any of the other roads in Prospect on which I regularly travel. The farther one gets from the proposed site, the less interest there seems to be in the matter.

My family are among those who live close to the proposed site. However, I know that when new things threaten to change the way we live, people panic. People are scared of what they don’t understand.

The huge pylons that carry our electrical power march endlessly through gashes in our forests. Thousands of trees have been cut over the past 100 years for electric companies to build these behemoths that carry power to our homes and businesses. We are so used to these metal monsters walking through our lands and crossing our property that we no longer ever notice them on a daily basis. We also don’t notice telephone poles or radio towers or microwave towers, but I would bet that, when these huge eyesores were first added to the landscape, they caused as much controversy as the wind turbines are causing today.

In an age where everyone is worried about the future and everyone is concerned about the “greening” of our communities and our country, how can a few maneuver to stop the progress that is beneficial to so many just because they don’t want to see the machines of that progress built in their back yard? It is my back yard, too, and I am still waiting for some good answers.

Patricia Smith Zappone