Wainfleet forum to address turbine concerns

Betty Konc is pictured in Wainfleet with an industrial wind turbine behind her. (Greg Furminger/Welland Tribune/Postmedia Network)
Betty Konc is pictured in Wainfleet with an industrial wind turbine behind her. (Greg Furminger/Welland Tribune/Postmedia Network)

People concerned about industrial wind turbines popping up near their homes may want to turn out to a Wainfleet Ratepayers Association meeting Wednesday.

The association founded in the late-2000s by Betty Konc, now a township alderman, typically holds a fall meeting for the broader community. The one being held at William E. Brown School, with sponsorship from Mothers Against Wind Turbines, is an opportunity to not only field residents’ concerns but to keep wind energy in the spotlight.

Konc says she’s tired of waiting for provincial government discussions with Ontario residents on wind turbines, and feels the matter is falling of the media’s radar as to how safe — or not safe — they are.

Two guests are scheduled to speak Wednesday.

Stephana Johnson, a retired schoolteacher in her 80s, will relate her experiences after moving a few kilometres from wind turbines in Long Point. At previous forums, the 2008 federal Green party candidate for Haldimand-Norfolk has told of hearing loss, buzzing in her ears, insomnia and a stuffiness she attributes to living near turbines.

“She’s going to try to connect the dots for people,” Konc says of Johnston’s presentation.

Caistor Corners area resident Mike Jankowski will also relate his experiences, she says.

Konc suggests that people consider getting a “baseline” medical report from doctors prior to any installation of industrial turbines nearby their homes, so that any ensuing changes to health can be documented.

Flyers promoting the community meeting suggest attendees can learn more about making complaints about turbines, property values in relation to turbine development and applying for property reassessments.

Ben Lansink, a London, Ont.-based certified property appraiser who specializes in diminution in value analyses, including in relation to proximity to turbines, was expected to attend Wednesday, but has had to cancel his appearance.

The open two-hour event starts at 7 p.m.

greg.furminger@sunmedia.ca

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