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Rights of the many being trampled

EDITOR:

Here we go again: big corporation with deep pockets and legions of lawyers approaches farmers with large parcels of already cleared easily accessible land with the purpose of altering said parcels from agricultural to industrial in the name of “clean energy.” The corporations like to call them wind or solar “farms”, but according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary a farm is defined as “a tract of land devoted to agricultural purposes.” It has become the accepted terminology as of late to call these industrial complexes “farms.” Maybe referring to them as “farms” gives some people a nice, cozy, rural feeling, but these expansive altered tracts of land will be good for nothing but their industrial complexes once they’re installed.

I have watched the Garden Peninsula community get torn apart by outsiders who have come in with their big promises of financial gain for the few at the expense of the majority. This is exactly what is being proposed in the Flat Rock/Cornell area. Having industrial equipment surrounding once open spaces of picturesque landscape ruins the quality of life for the majority of residents. The community is being split by an outside entity who will one day either pull up stakes and move along leaving those left in the area with a massive cleanup of industrial waste, or who will sell their business to another entity who will not be obliged to follow a previous contract like what is happening on the Garden Peninsula today. They say one thing and do another: beware!

Are the people of Delta County easy targets for these corporations? Wind complex, solar complex — what’s next? For a county that prides itself on being picturesque, it certainly is confusing when these eyesores cover the landscape. A resident recently stated in the Press that Delta County is rated the number one county in the state for wind and solar production. Maybe we are the number one county because our elected officials can’t say “No” like so many other areas have done.

According to an article in Sept. 7, 2019, Daily Press, “Construction of the solar farm will provide the opportunity for local construction industry employment and use of the local supplier businesses for construction materials.” It does not give a promise to employ local workers or support local businesses. “Up to 200 construction jobs.” A token number of local workers augmented by those brought in by Orion Energy? And a whopping four full-time jobs created once the project is complete? I, for one, am not impressed.

I am not opposed to “clean energy.” I am opposed to: the rights of the many being trampled by the rights of the few; seeing a warm welcoming community get ripped apart by people who either do not live in Flat Rock/Cornell area, or those who would profit from a neighbor’s misfortune; huge tracts of land becoming junkyards when the complex becomes obsolete; and the Delta County EDA for putting economic concerns at a higher priority than the quality of life for its residents.

Laurie Rasmussen

Flat Rock