To the editor,

A group of concerned citizens has formed in opposition to the Long Prairie Wind Project proposed for the southern half of Van Wert County. Several area citizens have experienced or witnessed surprising practices by the wind project developer, which is attempting to persuade landowners to lease their farm ground for industrial wind turbines.

In one instance, an employee of this company allowed a landowner to read through the memorandum of lease, which is a summary of the least contract. The landowner raised concerns with language in the document, such as an apparent abuse of neighbors’ property rights. Instead of addressing the concern professionally, the employee used high pressure sales techniques on the landowner for a decision. The landowner told the developer he just wasn’t sure. At that point the developer ripped the contract out of his hands and stormed off. That response raised a big red flag for that landowner, and should for you, too.

A second issue that has come to our attention is that once a landowner signs a contract with the developer, this company waits two-three months before filing it at the County Recorder’s office. Sometimes this information is withheld for up to six months. This was stated by a company employee at their recent open house in front of several other people. By the way, the memorandum of lease filed at the Recorder’s Office is not the entire contract between the landowner and the developer. Why the two different documents? These practices include a clause in the contract that is essentially a gag order. The clause prevents a lease holder to even speak about the contents to anyone not on the contract. That even includes a spouse of a lease holder not on the contract. There is another clause that prevents lease holders to even bring up questionable ethical areas of the contract. We feel fortunate to live in Van Wert County - a community where honesty and trust are highly valued in personal and business dealings. We would do well to proceed with extreme caution given how a wind developer is attempting to operate among us.

Wind energy causes years of problems for farmers with ground compaction, tile damage, limiting pesticide application methods and causing discontent with neighbors. We have experienced some of this in the northern part of the county which has far fewer rural homesteads than the southern half. Enough is enough.

Linda Baker

Ohio City

Citizens for Clear Skies