The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, May. 22, 2024

The Forgotten ‘Enough’

To The Editor:

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word ‘enough’ as “equal to what is needed”. Needed, not wanted. What we want is not always what we need. 

On February 8, 2022, I attended a meeting about wind turbines that Starwood Energy Group is proposing in Grover Hill. Those opposed to it talked about loss of property value, shadow flicker, noise, TV/internet interruption, questionable actions by Starwood, the grid operator having concerns of overwhelming their systems, among others. Those approving the project loved the money. 

In testimony written on February 24, 2021, by our commissioners opposing SB 118, Paulding County received almost $7 million from the wind farms between 2020 and 2021. These are called “Annual PILOT payments”. PILOT means “payments in lieu of taxes”. However, this term is misleading. 

The Health Department received $83,459.30 from the wind farms. Yet on November 2, 2021, we voted to RENEW a .5 million dollar tax levy, RENEW a 1.35 million dollar tax levy for the jail (who received altogether $156,485.78), RENEW a levy of 1 million dollars for Benton Township (who received $139,419.62), among other levies since the erection of the wind farms. 

Wayne Trace Schools received $2,797,796.22. The Ohio Department of Taxation states we’ve paid a 1.25 percent income tax to the school since 1992 and will at least through 2026. On January 27, 2022, I attended a community meeting to discuss options for the school. These options will be completely taxpayer funded. The cost started at $9 million and $20 million was mentioned. These are not ‘payments in lieu of taxes’ but ‘payments in addition to taxes’. We will continue to receive these payments from the current wind farms. So my question is, when is it ‘enough’? What is that magic number? 

I have concerns about the vested interest of some of our community members, especially one of our commissioners who stands to make a pretty penny off this project. 

I pray those who have a contract will consider their neighbors. I pray the OPSB listens to the people of Grover Hill, instead of the influencers. I pray for truth. 

Amber Merriman 

Grover Hill

Editor’s note: The .5 million dollar tax levy , 1.35 million dollar tax levy and a levy of one million dollars referenced by the writer are not millions of dollars. They are mills, which are tenths of a cent.

POSTED: 02/16/22 at 9:46 am. FILED UNDER: Letters to the Editor