NORTH ROBINSON — Col. Crawford’s school board held its monthly meeting at the media center on Monday evening.
To open the meeting, the Colonel Crawford FFA Chapter hosted the Opening Ceremony.
After that was completed, which now seems to be commonplace at meetings across the county, members of the public addressed the board about their growing concerns about the potential Honey Creek industrial wind project. Apex in Crawford County.
Sandy Shields, former educator and current resident of the district, was the first to address the council on the matter.
“While the planning phase for this project began years ago, and due to a lack of transparency, it has only just been revealed to most citizens of Crawford County,” Shields began. “The scale of turbines proposed for Honey Creek would be the largest onshore turbines built in the United States. Additionally, the population density of our county is much greater than that of other wind farms in the United States. We are a rural farming community. Yet there are a large number of residential homes that dot our rural landscape. This means that if this project were to go ahead, our citizens within the project footprint would live near a number of turbines on an industrial scale. It would be impossible to isolate oneself as hoped.
Shields said that while Apex has yet to submit a permit application to the Ohio Power Siting Board, so full details are not fully known, Apex officials said their intention is to place at least sixty -fifteen turbines of six hundred and fifty feet. from the ground to the top of a blade, for the first phase of their project. Apex has stated its intention to expand this project beyond northern Crawford County in the future, should this project come to fruition.
Measuring 650 feet tall, these wind turbines would tower twenty feet over the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, the tallest national monument in the United States.
“I ask you to imagine more than seventy-five of these massive structures dotting our beautiful rural landscape in northern Crawford County,” Shields said.
Other issues that Shields addressed were noise, flickering shadows (turbines create a moving/flickering shadow when the sun shines through the rotating blades), flashing red lights (due to their height and issues with safety, they have flashing lights to mark their location), and ice squirt (when the ice breaks off the wind turbine blades, the movement can propel the shards a great distance).
In his address to the board, Shields also addressed “wind turbine syndrome,” which includes symptoms such as trouble sleeping, headaches, tinnitus (ringing in one or both ears that can be constant or coming and going), dizziness sensation of internal or external rotation), and dizziness, among others. She said in testimonies from those living near wind farms, individuals expressed high levels of stress and depression, and some said their quality of life was so diminished that they abandoned their homes.
The next topic Shields tackled was how these might impact children with autism and those with sensory processing disorders.
“For many years I taught in an inclusive classroom, I taught these children, and for them the constant noise and vibration is tragic. I understand that many of them are so hypersensitive to noise that “it actually causes them pain and can lead to panic attacks. I have great empathy for them and I wonder, ‘Who will take care of them? Who will protect them?’ »
Shields explained how in Seneca County, they just shut down Apex and the wind farm they subsequently proposed, many county entities and organizations, including county commissioners, worked together to let it be known that wind turbines were not welcome in their county. She referred to how the Seneca East School Board, in its resolution submitted to the Ohio Power site board, stated that “this board intends to intervene in the proceeding on the ground that it has a considerable interest in protecting the health, safety and welfare of students and district staff, and an interest in the potential impact of the project on the development and valuation of property in the district, which affects directly a primary source of district funding.
The Ohio Power Siting Board rejected Apex’s application for the Republic Wind Project in Seneca County, citing “substantial public opposition, as well as geological concerns” as primary factors in their rejection.
“Our county commissioners could act now by exercising the right granted to them by Senate Bill 52. They have the power to declare parts or all of Crawford County restricted. If they choose not to act, that is considered an endorsement of industrial wind farms in our rural but residential county. If they act, this does not mean that the project is definitively stopped. Those who oppose the declaration of restricted areas have the option of putting it to a vote, where all voting citizens would have the right to cast their vote in the voting booth. Isn’t that what our great country was built on? said Shields.
Next to address the council on the matter was Casie Grau, who lives in the district and has two children who are dating Colonel Crawford, one who has sensory processing issues.
“I am here tonight to share my family’s concerns about industrial wind turbines in hopes of finding a solution. My family and I are concerned about their impact on the appearance of the county, potential decline in property values, environmental disruptions, our quality of life, and negative impacts on the well-being of our children,” Grau said. .
Grau’s daughter, who has sensory processing issues, asked her mother, “What’s going to happen to me?” to which Grau had to reply: “I don’t know.”
Grau said her daughter, like children who have been diagnosed with sensory processing disorders, such as autism, is negatively affected by certain noises, and she also suffers from tinnitus. The family fears that the wind turbines will make their difficulties worse.
“Let’s recognize that none of us really know or understand the impact of industrial wind turbines until we’ve lived with them. However, we hear testimonies from those who lived with them and urged us not to repeat their mistakes,” Grau said.
Concluding his address to the council, Grau left the council with these questions: Are we willing to risk finding out what these people have discovered, only after living with wind turbines? Do industrial wind turbines align with our vision for this community? Do industrial wind turbines align with community initiatives, such as encouraging young people to return after leaving for university; Are industrial wind turbines the experiences we want our children to have here; and Where does the well-being of our children rank on the priority list as we consider allowing industrial wind turbines to exist here?
Sherry Stuckman, the latest to address the council, expressed concern about the impact of the turbines on her daughter, who has been diagnosed with autism, saying she feared the shadow flicker and the noise does affect her because she is sensitive to things like that. .
Council members received informational pamphlets that the anti-wind group has created, detailing safety issues, property rights issues, ways to get involved and the page’s web address, channel YouTube and the Crawford Anti-Wind Facebook page.
After the section on public participation, the council moved on to the commercial part of the agenda.
Superintendent Todd Martin announced that, in accordance with CDC guidelines, students will no longer be required to wear masks on the bus.
Open registration for the district begins March 1 and ends March 31. Martin said about twenty-eight percent of the school’s students are enrolled when it opens. For an open registration form, go to Colonel Crawford’s local schools website. There is a link to the document at the top of the page titled “2022-2023 Open Enrollment Form”.
As discussed at the last council meeting, the school is moving forward with the air handling unit and boiler project for the north building. The winning bid was from MG Energy, Inc. for $480,239. The project will be paid for with ESSER III money. The district initially allocated about $566,000 for the project.
A resolution selecting Callahan Door & Window as the supplier for the replacement doors and windows in the pool area was approved at $30,806 and will be paid for with ESSER II funds. The new windows and doors around the pool will be ventilation windows, and they will be tinted to help with the sun during morning swim meets.
The next board meeting is March 28 at 7 p.m.