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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Turbines' negative impact on property value "quite a reach"

From an article by Colleen Kottke in The Northwestern (Oshkosh):

In the years since the Forward Wind Energy Center came on line, "For Sale" signs have popped up all over Gerry Meyer's rural neighborhood in the town of Byron. . . .

Meyer is convinced that the aesthetically displeasing look of the 400-foot turbines and subsequent ill effects experienced by nearby residents from the noise, vibration and light-flicker has caused housing values to plummet.

A just-released study commissioned by wind-power opponents concurs, saying that property values have fallen at least 19 percent for properties located near the We Energies wind farm in Fond du Lac County and 12 percent for those located near Invenergy's Forward Wind Energy Center in Fond du Lac and Dodge counties.

The study by Appraisal Group One was commissioned by a Calumet County affiliate of the state Coalition for Wisconsin Environmental Steward, a group fighting a We Energies wind farm project in Columbia County.

'Quite a reach'
Brian Manthey, a spokesman for We Energies, said the report failed to make accurate comparisons in properties used to track declining values.

"They compared subdivision and lake view lots when the properties in our wind farm area were considered agricultural lots back in 2006. Ultimately, they figured in the sale of four lots, which is tough to draw any comparisons when using such a small scale," said Manthey, who described the report's findings as "quite a reach."

Since construction of the 88-turbine project in the Blue Sky Green Field project in the towns of Calumet and Marshfield, Manthey said 12 homes have been sold; some homes sold above assessed value while others sold below fair market values. Manthey said the report is misleading in that it doesn't take into consideration other factors impacting property values.

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