Letter: Know what you’re signing
Most of the debate on the wind farm has centered around the turbines and some talk about property rights. About a year ago, I listened to a radio program in which Roger McOwen discussed recent court cases of interest to a farm audience. One of the cases was a lawsuit over a land sale, which was located in a wind farm and had a wind turbine. The land owner lost the case. Roger’s comment was, “know what you are signing.” So if you signed a contract with NextEra, do you no longer have the right to sell your land? Do you no longer have the right to use this asset to pay for major expenses like medical or long-term care? If you can’t sell, can you even pass this property to your family? At your death, is your family banned from further use of the property and who has control of it? Will your home and buildings collapse in a heap and brush and weeds take over? To whom does your lease money go? Read section 9.2 of your contract. It is hard to grasp how a wind farm lease could turn so cumbersome. The question needs to be asked — What is the agenda and who is the intended recipient of your property? This contract ties up your land for the life of the contract. I understand the wind farm near Bern is in its fourth ownership. The turbines and lease money have served the wind farm well. The lease was the bait to entice people to sign on and the turbines were the focal point of discussion. What is the real agenda? The average age of farmers is near sixty. In short, older farms will be sacrificed one at a time as landowners pass on. Farm production is the economic driver for this county and without farms the communities will also die. Grass will grow in the streets. This is a property rights issue and our commissioners can protect our rights now.