TOWNSHIP OF WEST LINCOLN INVITATION TO APPLY AS A MEMBER ON VARIOUS COMMITTEES
The Township of West Lincoln is seeking names of residents of West Lincoln who would be interested in being appointed to the following Committees:
(1) Public Advisory Committee – Industrial Wind Turbine Projects
(2) Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee (12 to 18 years of age)
(3) Active Transportation Advisory Committee
The term of the appointment will not exceed the term of Council (ending November 30, 2018) and will last for a period of time as deemed appropriate. Meetings will be held on an as needed basis at the call of the Committee Chair.
Interested residents may submit their application to Joanne Scime, Deputy Clerk. A copy of the application form and/or the Terms and Reference for each of the above noted Committees may be downloaded from the Township’s Web Site at www.westlincoln.ca, refer to front page under “Trending” or under “Notices”, “Public Notices”, or may be picked up from the Township Office during regular business hours, Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
Completed application forms may be dropped off at the Township Office, mailed (address noted below), emailed (email@example.com) or faxed (905-957-3219), by no later than 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 10th, 2016. Applications may also be dropped off after hours using the white box located beside the entrance doors off the parking lot.
Please be advised that applications/submissions will be dealt with in an Open Session Meeting and all information submitted will be considered and distributed as public documentation as part of our public agenda process.
Please note that successful applicants will be subject to the Township’s Purchasing Policy as it relates to Conflict of Interest and the Township’s Code of Conduct for Members of Council, Local Boards and Advisory Committees. These policies can be found on our web site as noted above.
If you have any questions,
please contact either:
Carolyn Langley, Clerk or Joanne Scime, Deputy Clerk Township of West Lincoln
P.O. Box 400 318 Canborough Street Smithville, Ontario, L0R 2A0
-Feeling new sensations since the turbines became operational?
-Pre-existing conditions symptoms becoming worse?
-Having trouble coping?
-Family and friends don’t understand because they aren’t feeling anything?
-When even you don’t understand what is going on with your body, how could anyone else?
-When they don’t, what happens?
Like many people living in Industrial Wind Projects, initially you may not connect the dots. Denial is strong initially. Sensations surface, sometimes occurring days, weeks or months after exposure, some beginning subtly, some not. The only thing you really know for sure is they did not exist prior to the turbines becoming operational. Sensations you have never felt before. Or pain of existing conditions worsening. Symptoms typically come and go, the latter most often when you leave your home, resulting in delaying making Dr.’s appointments until they persist and worsen.
Recently the Vermont Senate voted against protecting Vermonters who live near industrial wind turbines.
The Senate voted against requiring sound monitoring to ensure compliance with noise pollution standards. Green Mountain Power’s lobbyist Todd Bailey, of KSE Partners, told senators that GMP could not afford to pay an unsubstantiated cost of $264,000 for sound monitoring for its industrial wind project in Lowell. As reported in Seven Days, “they (the army of energy lobbyists) got their message to Senator Bray and other senators in a hurry. The Senate voted 18-8 to strike sound monitoring from the bill.”
It is enlightening to understand GMP’s opposition to the cost of sound monitoring at industrial wind projects in comparison to other costs at Green Mountain Power. For instance, annual sound monitoring costs, estimated by ethical experts to be $50,000 to $75,000, pale in comparison to the annual compensation for company CEO Mary Powell.
According to the Valener Energy Company Management Proxy Circular, included with the March 22, 2016, stockholders’ meeting notice, total annual compensation to Powell for the fiscal year ending September 2015 was $1.9 million. Her total compensation for 2013, 2014 and 2015 was over $5 million. Her total compensation consists of base salary, annual and long-term incentive plan (bonus pay), current pension value and other compensation. Her current retirement benefit is $3.3 million.
Gaz Metro owns GMP and has determined that Powell’s long-term incentive compensation will be based on a program that “takes into account cash flow, asset base growth, and achievement of Merger savings.”
“Asset base growth” occurs whenever GMP completes a new energy project. Utilities make money by earning a return on the equity portion of their assets, called asset base in the proxy report or, more commonly, “rate base.” Rate base increases whenever a utility builds anything. Intermittent (renewable) generation assets such as wind and solar projects are extremely capital-intensive. It makes sense that GMP’s parent corporation would want to increase asset base, because it increases corporate income. The more projects GMP builds, the more money Powell makes.
The problem is these industrial wind projects are located close to Vermont families who feel their negative impacts. People who live near an industrial wind project, according to the Vermont Public Service Department, will experience “a significant impairment of quality of life,” and unlike the CEO of GMP will not be compensated by a higher bonus in their paycheck. Instead, Vermonters who live near industrial wind projects will see their quality of life deteriorate and their home values decrease. I have met with Vermonters who have abandoned their homes, are sleep deprived, get headaches, have been hospitalized, are awakened in the middle of the night with their heart racing due to a panic attack, get dizzy and nauseous or have sold homes at a loss, all because of the impact of unregulated industrial wind turbine noise pollution.
The GMP financial incentive to increase rate base resulted in a provision added to the proposed 30 megawatt Deerfield Wind power purchase agreement. GMP negotiated the power contract with Iberdrola, the entity that would develop and own the wind power project on U.S. Forest Service land that is poised to destroy critical bear habitat and the high elevation headwaters of Wilmington. It is no wonder that this agreement includes a provision that allows GMP to buy the project for $50 million in 10 years. After GMP’s long and ugly battle to build its Lowell industrial wind project, it may have found a new way to own wind projects without all the problems of building them. It contracts with a developer to build wind projects and buys the projects later, which adds assets and increases compensation for CEO Powell. Neighbors get the noise pollution and significantly impaired quality of life.
The opposition to continuous sound monitoring at Vermont industrial wind projects is also not consistent with established utility practice. The McNeil wood chip generating plant, part of which is owned by GMP, is required to maintain a Continuous Emissions Monitoring System. The CEMS equipment provides hourly data. The McNeil plant is smaller than the Lowell industrial wind project. Despite the wind industry’s well-funded denials to the contrary, it has been proven that industrial wind projects emit harmful sound emissions.
Sound generated by a wind turbine is directly related to its power output. More power output equals more sound. The real cost of continuous monitoring to the wind companies is that they would have to shut down when they are out of compliance, which would mean that the developer would make less money.
The Legislature must act to require third-party continuous sound monitoring to ensure compliance for all industrial wind projects. Legislators, please put people over profits.
Turbines planned for spot less than four kilometres from runway.
TORONTO (The Canadian Press) — Opponents of a wind-power project in the Collingwood, Ont. area warned Thursday that it will put lives at risk because giant industrial turbines will be built less than four kilometres from an airport runway.
Three local municipalities, residents and a pilots’ association say they don’t want eight 50-storey-tall wind turbines so close to the Collingwood airport and the nearby Clearview Aerodrome.
“The province is knowingly approving turbines that are a hazard,” said Kevin Elwood of the Canadian Owner and Pilots Association.
“These eight turbine locations are killers, there’s no doubt in my mind.”
The wind turbines will be “jammed” between the two airports, which operate mainly on visual flight rules, and will “penetrate the arrival and departure airspace as defined by Transport Canada’s guidelines,” added Elwood.
“Does this province want to be the first government with blood on its hands after they cause the first aircraft-turbine crash in Canada?”
Eldwood warned that pilots could have trouble seeing the giant white turbine blades, especially in snowy, cloudy or rainy conditions, and said they produce strong wake turbulence that is invisible….
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.- George Orwell
They didn’t come to talk about industrial wind turbines. Rather, the two emissaries from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)—an agency of the province of Ontario—came to apologize.
MPAC is the government agency that determines the value of your home or property for municipal taxation purposes. They know they do a poor job of it. They have such low confidence in their ability to assess the value of your home, particularly in rural, heterogeneous neighbourhoods, one phone call is often all it takes to have an assessment reduced.
So the MPAC folks came to Shire Hall to say they are sorry and want to do better. Part of a dog-and-pony-apology tour across Ontario. They came with plans to improve the way they, and clerks in municipalities across the province, might work together better.
County council members, however, wanted to know about industrial wind turbines. Specifically, they wanted to know the impact on property values of 50-storey machines erected in a scenic rural shoreline. The MPAC folks were prepared for the question. They get it a lot.
Leaning heavily on MPAC’s own study based on 2012 data, the representatives assured council industrial wind turbines nearby had “no statistically significant impact on sale prices.” When it conducted the analysis, the provincial agency knew its findings would meet with a skeptical reception, so it hired an American consultant to examine the data too. It, however, found a statistically significant impact lowering the sale prices of homes near industrial wind turbines, but that the impact was small.
That was the information shared with council. Council believed it was true.
Ed and Gail Kenney have been battling MPAC for seven years. In 2008, the couple’s Wolfe Island home was valued at $200,000. The following year, 86 industrial wind turbines sprouted around his home. Fluctuating pressure caused by the turbines makes Ed uncomfortable and edgy—he finds it difficult to sleep. Yet he doesn’t want to move.
That same year MPAC determined the value of the Kenneys’ home had risen to $375,000—driving their municipal taxes much higher. They appealed. If anything, the value of their home was less because of the turbines, not more. It took several years and a small fortune, yet they lost their appeal.
“The board found that based on the evidence, in this case, there appeared to be no evidence of any negative impact to the value of the property,” concluded the MPAC appeal panel.
The case raised serious questions about how MPAC conducts its evaluations. The hard data appeared to contradict its conclusion. A small corps of amateurs pored over the data. They found a correlation between a decline in sale prices and proximity to industrial wind turbines. But they were just raising more questions. There was no hard evidence or academic research contradicting MPAC. Until now.
A new study prepared by Clarkson University and Nanos Research paints a very different picture of what happened as a result of the industrial wind turbines on Wolfe Island.
The Clarkson-Nanos study concludes that a massive wind project proposed for Galloo Island— part of a chain of islands that includes the Duck Islands stretching from Prince Edward Point to Henderson, New York—will likely depress property values of homes with a view of the turbines. The researchers calculate the impact is likely to be more than $40 million while providing the community with little value in return.
But surely the most surprising aspect of their research, for Ontario residents at least, was what they learned about property values directly across from Wolfe Island.
Clarkson-Nanos found that properties with a view of the western side of Wolfe Island, in and around Cape Vincent, prior to turbines being built, commanded a premium of about 10 per cent relative to similar properties. After the turbines were constructed, however, they found a “strong negative impact” on property values. Further, their analysis determined that industrial wind turbines reduce property values on the American mainland by about 15 per cent.
So let’s get this straight. MPAC and its consultant couldn’t detect a significant impact on property values on homes in the shadow of these looming mechanical giants—yet across the channel, an independent research body found homes are worth far less because their view includes industrial wind turbines.
It is obvious to those with eyes that industrial wind turbines impair property values. It is surely why the province wouldn’t tolerate an appeal based on economic or property losses as a result of an industrial wind project located nearby.
Yet the provincial government continues to compel its agencies to tell the public a different story…..
New cartoon character drawn up to combat Turbine mascot
Tommy the Turbine has a fictional rival to liven up the debate about windfarms.
A leading Highland objector has created “Subsidy Sam” to challenge a character used by the industry.
Sam highlights the massive public subsidies used to finance the technology.
Beauly-based Lyndsey Ward, who today publishes her story online, claims youngsters have been “indoctrinated” by a host of school activities including visits to windfarms. “Tommy the Turbine” is already online and been used in schools in Ireland.
She said: “What’s been happening is similar to what fast food and fizzy drink makers did previously – sponsoring school sports equipment and leaving us with an obesity epidemic.
“The wind industry goes into schools in Scotland and never is the other side of the story told. Youngsters are being brainwashed into thinking we’d be doomed without windfarms.
“It’s a cynical ploy to keep the subsidies flowing into the next generation.”
Caithness campaigner Brenda Herrick successfully fought to have turbines removed from school grounds after a series of incidents involving faulty towers.
She said: “They never tell children how turbines chop up birds, or about the thousands of trees felled to make way for windfarms, or how often blades fly off, or tell children in poor households why their parents can’t afford their energy bills.”
Mrs Ward’s short story is illustrated by St Andrews–based cartoonist “Josh,” who said: “I hate what’s happening to Scotland with the proliferation of turbines killing rare birds and ruining the landscape.”
Neither the SNP nor the trade body Scottish Renewables would comment on “Subsidy Sam”.
The only surviving Highland school turbine is at Scoraig Primary where it is “the primary source of power.”
It has become a cliche to say, towns targeted for industrial wind installations are torn apart by the experience. If it’s an experience you haven’t had, you might well wonder what’s behind the cliche. If you really want to understand, you might start by asking the question, what is the nature of the bonds that hold a community together in the first place?
I don’t know about your small town, but in ours, neighborly bonds tend to be of the feel-good type: I do you a kindness and we both benefit. You break your leg? I plow your drive. Your weed whacker is in the shop? I lend you mine. Your brother dies? I go to the funeral, even if I didn’t know him. What a dandy fellow I am, and everyone knows it.
These small acts of kindness do indeed build a sense of community. But as with other relationships, you don’t really know your community until the chips are down. You don’t know what “for better or for worse” means until you get to the “worse” part. You quickly find out, when a wind developer comes knocking on your community door. It’s very bad times, at least for some people. And the fact that people are differently affected depending on where they live is, it turns out, at the heart of what you learn about “community.”
You learn when the friend from over the way regards you with a steely gaze when you tell him, “My home, and my family’s home, are a half mile from five 500-foot tall wind turbines.” “I feel for you,” says your friend, quickly changing the subject.
You learn when you try to explain that your fear and sadness are keeping you awake. “All my family’s wealth is in our family farm, which would lie less than 3,000 feet from five 40-story wind turbines. We won’t be able to live here, and the land owner and developer have said they wouldn’t compensate anyone for lost use of their property.” “Please,” chuckles your friend, “it won’t be that bad.”
You learn when you look at the people who are fighting as hard as you are to stop the wind turbine project and realize that the project will probably not affect them so personally, but that they care about their neighbors who will be harmed. And you know they will be next to you, blocking the road, if the day comes when the unimaginably huge trucks arrive with wind turbine parts.
In our little town, we’ve spent nearly four years watching the company reps of the wind developer, an immense multi-national, mosey about on our ridgeline, trying to answer their precious question, is the “wind resource” on your pristine ridgeline enough for us to make lots of money by putting turbines here?
But we have a question too, and although we’ve looked equally hard for the answer, we can’t find it. Our question is, what will happen to us, as individuals and as a community, if the developer does decide we’re good enough to “host” their project? Who will care for our tattered community, and our damaged lives?
That there is no answer to, or even interest in, our question does not feel good – it feels abusive, unjust. It feels vicious, violent. It feels as if Vermont, my entire family’s beloved adopted home, were the most dangerous place in the world for me and my family to live.
So the days go on, lessons abounding. I learn about mercy, for instance, when I hear my husband on the phone with a “friend,” explaining that turbine noise at a distance of less than half a mile stands a good chance of affecting the development of my infant grandson’s brain. Then I hear my husband, suddenly fierce, say, “I’m not asking you to feel sorry for me!”
Well you know what, my friend? I am asking you to feel sorry for me. I am asking you, god forbid, to have pity on me. I am asking for your mercy. Your answer will tell me something very important about “community.”
Want Answers? Send in your questions in writing. Meeting open to the public and you are invited to “observe.”
Wednesday April 27, 2016 at 6 pm Wellandport Community Ctre.
PROJECT NAME Niagara Region Wind Farm (NRWF)
PROJECT LOCATION The approved project is located within Haldimand County and Niagara Region (including the Townships of Wainfleet and West Lincoln and the Town of Lincoln). The electrical interconnection components are located within the Town of Lincoln and the Township of West Lincoln, in Niagara Region, and in Haldimand County in southern Ontario.
COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE MEETING
FWRN LP (formerly Niagara Region Wind Corporation) has established a Community Liaison Committee (CLC) for the Niagara Region Wind Farm. The purpose of the CLC is to facilitate two-way communication between Boralex and CLC members with respect to issues relating to the construction, installation, use, operation, maintenance and retirement of the facility. The first CLC meeting was held on September 21, 2015, the second of at least four meetings will be held on April 27, 2016 at 6PM at the Wellandport Community Centre – 5042 Canborough Rd, Wellandport, ON. CLC meetings will be open to the general public for observation.
Dillon Consulting has been retained by NRWF to Chair and Facilitate the CLC process. If you have any questions regarding the CLC, please contact:
Karla Kolli, CLC Chair and Facilitator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416.229.4647 ext. 2354.
The Niagara Region Wind Farm facility received its Renewable Energy Approval (REA) in 2014. This facility would have a maximum name plate capacity of 230 MW, consisting of 77 turbines (80 potential locations identified).