Tama County residents interested in learning more about the impact of wind turbines in the wake of a proposed industrial wind turbine project in Tama County are invited to attend a public meeting and forum, Tuesday, April 19, starting at 7 p.m. at the Middle School auditorium at 505 West Street in Dysart.
Originally planned for the Dysart Community Building, interest in the April 19 citizen-led session has already been so strong, that event organizers moved it to the largest venue in the area, the Union Middle School auditorium.
Hosted by a group of concerned citizens known as Tama County Against Turbines, the public meeting and public forum will provide area residents with facts about what it's like to live near industrial wind turbines.
"We invite area residents to join us April 19 to get the facts about industrial wind turbine farms before they are approved, and to learn more about what area residents can do to help maintain the quality of life and our role as caretakers of the land," said Tama County Against Wind Turbines Chairman and Spokesperson Jon Winkelpleck, of rural Dysart. "With hundreds of area residents signing our petition to halt the approval of further industrial wind farms from destroying life and land in Tama County, we want to provide facts for those who live in the area of the latest proposed industrial wind project," he said.
The group is also calling for Tama County to update its regulations governing the approval of industrial wind turbine farms, since those were first written in 1998.
"A lot has changed in 24 years, and it's time that Tama County updates its land use and zoning regulations to protect some of the most prime farmland in the world, our quality of life, our livestock and wildlife in Tama County from being overrun with wind turbines," Winkelpleck said.
He said a growing number of Iowa counties have implemented moratoriums on new industrial wind turbine farms, including Grundy and Adair County and others.
A new "Winding Stair Wind Farm" is being proposed by Apex Clean Energy based in Charlottesville, Virginia, for placement on the prime farmland of Northern and Central Tama County, near the Dysart, Traer, and Clutier areas from 150th Street South towards Elberon, Iowa. Apex Clean Energy claims the project will generate 210 megawatts (MW), with about 50-70 turbines used, depending on the tower height, blade size, and turbine manufacturer(s) used in the project.
"We invite the public to ask their questions as they visit with us in Dysart April 19, and get more facts about industrial wind turbines on our Facebook group @Tama County Against Turbines," Winkelpleck said.