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Chandler solar project

EDITOR:

The proposed “Chandler Solar Project” in the Flatrock area of Escanaba Township would fundamentally alter the living environment for Flatrock area residents in a totally negative manner.

The massive scale of the proposed project, blanketing hundreds of acres of farmland with solar panels and the installation of miles of chain-link fence around 1,200 plus acres would negatively impact the beauty of the landscape, the abundant wildlife and property values.

The real-estate consultant’s report (escanabatownship.org on “calendar” states there is no change in property or home values after such installations. That is very difficult to believe. All one has to do is to view the photo facsimiles of the installations. Anyone with common sense will see that the very ugly landscape created is something practically no home or adjoining property owner, or potential owner, would want anywhere within sight.

Additionally, the expected drilling of holes for solar panel anchorage and fence post installation could very well degrade or even destroy the area’s fragile aquafer. All residents in the area rely upon drilled wells for their water supply. Because of the generally thin top soil and underlying geologic structure of fractured limestone, the aquafer is subject to surface water contamination. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of drilled holes would open the aquafer to constant and potentially irreversible contamination.

It is interesting that these types of projects are called “Solar Farms”. It is no more a ‘Farm” than the middle of U.S. 41. It is in fact an industrial scale mega-watt power generating plant. No doubt calling it a “Farm” is an effort to make such projects less obnoxious and more “environmentally friendly”.

The out-of -state and multi-national corporations involved in the proposed development of the project have touted the million-plus dollars of “benefits” that would result. However, when broken down, based upon the expected 25-30 year life of the project, these benefits for individual residents and the township are a pittance compared to the untold millions upon millions of dollars these corporations will reap. The fact is that no amount of “benefits” could compensate the vast majority of residents for the loss of their quality living environment. It is priceless.

Residents of the immediate Flatrock area are not the only ones who should be concerned about such a blight of solar panels. Aquafer’s are often interconnected and if the project is allowed to be constructed there will likely be a cancerous-like expansion of industrial solar panels upon the surrounding landscape.

Escanaba Township Board members have a moral obligation to protect and preserve the current quality living environment for all township residents, as well as that of future generations. Such quality living environments will only become more sought after and valuable in the future.

The board members should reject any zoning proposal(s) which would permit the construction of this massive industrial solar power plant within the environs of the Flatrock community

Wayne Seibert

Gladstone