Letter sent to Fulton Township Residents:
THE DEFEVER FAMILY
HAROLD, KATHY, KATHLEEN, AND CARRIE DEFEVER
FULTON TWP, MI
March 17, 2022
To Residents of Fulton Township
You’ve probably already noticed the dozens of 500-foot tall wind turbines built on farmland to the north, east, and west of our Township. We are writing to make sure you are aware that there are wind turbines proposed to be built near your property, and the final hearing on the proposal is Thursday, March 24th at 7pm at the Township Hall.
In our case (and likely yours too), there is a proposed turbine site directly across the road, and only about 1600 feet from our home. We have serious concerns about the impacts of a structure the size of a 50-story building being constructed so close to our beautiful farm. We love our property because it is quiet, green, and surrounded by unspoiled nature. Turbines will ruin the idyllic view, cause noise (both audible and infra-sound), cause light flickering due to their enormous shadows, kill thousands of birds (including those which are state and federally-protected), disrupt wildlife and hunting, and cause negative health impacts on humans. And they will definitely have a negative impact on all of our property values.
At the latest Gratiot County Planning Commission hearing, Commissioner Raycraft (who has a turbine on his own property) said it himself:
"If we’re going to keep doing windfarms in Gratiot County, we need to protect our land[owners]. These things are getting bigger, and we need to increase the distances from the houses because it sounds like a jet. It doesn’t sound like a refrigerator. That ship has sailed."
Fulton Township is more densely populated than the surrounding Townships, with two to three times more people living in the same amount of space. This means there is less space for turbines, and any turbine built in Fulton will have negative impacts on three to four times more people than in other Townships. Notably, while less than two dozen people in Fulton would benefit financially from the proposed turbines, the negative impacts will be borne by the rest of us - over 2,000 people.
In fact, the Fulton Township Master Plan – which outlines the goals of our Township - never mentions the desire to attract industrial electricity projects. Instead, it emphasizes that all economic growth must be in harmony with our beautiful agricultural setting and existing recreational assets. Our Township laws make it very clear that we wish to stand out as a natural environment of farms and recreational facilities which will attract more families to settle in the area. The installation of giant electricity-producing industrial turbines is in direct conflict with those goals.
To object to the turbine proposal, it is important to:
1. Write to the Planning Commission
It is unclear whether the Commission will hear public comments at the March 24 hearing, which means it is very important that you deliver your comments in written form to the Township Hall. You can drop them at the Hall, arrange other delivery by calling the Township at 989-236-5102, or email them to the Township Supervisor Denise Rossman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The applicant, Invenergy, assists property owners to write letters if they have a financial interest in the turbine project. If you don’t speak up, the only voices the Commission will hear will be the people who stand to financially gain from the turbines.
2. Attend the hearing
It is very important to show up at the Township Hall. If we don’t show up and ask to be heard, the Planning Commission will not know how many people are concerned about the project. This is our last chance to speak out about the project application. The Planning Commission will likely make a decision at the meeting. The Township offers attendance via video conference, but does not guarantee it will be operational.
When we were reviewing the documents submitted to the Township by the wind energy company, we discovered additional multiple negative impacts that the company had not told us (or our neighbors) about. We also discovered serious deficiencies in the project application. For example, Invenergy failed to thoroughly study the local bird population, despite stating numerous times that they “performed a three-year study.” When you look more carefully at their study, you discover they only observed Fulton Township for three days in 2018, one day in 2020, and only for an hour at a time, in a handful of locations. Also, despite observing sixty raptor nests, they don’t reveal their locations, and they don’t explain why they think they satisfy strict Federal and Michigan bird protection laws.
We all know that Bald Eagles are an extremely common sight in our Township, and they have only multiplied exponentially in the last two years. Keep track of Bald Eagles and their nests, and be prepared to report them to the Township. Let’s protect our beautiful countryside and the wildlife that lives there.
To see the avian studies, to learn more about the previous hearing and local news coverage, and to learn why an approval of the application would be in direct conflict with Township law, visit our Defever Farms website: http://www.defeverfarms.com. If you’d like to talk with one of us, please contact us via the form on our website, and we will get back to you.
Remember – turbines are only approved in Townships where people don’t express their opposition or write letters. In the Townships where people write letters and show up at the meetings to object, turbine applications have been defeated, and wind energy ordinances have been overturned.
The Defever Family