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Letter to the editor: Courtenay Wind Farm will have positive impact in area

Many local landowners have invested six years into making something positive for the area.

We speak on behalf of ourselves and our neighbors who have invested time and money into making the Courtenay Wind Farm a reality. We feel that some of the recent article headlines elevated the concerns of a few above the general support of many and above the overall benefits of the project. Many in our community focus on economic development; it would be encouraging to have the articles reflect the positive tone of the various projects.

We've invested a lot of time and money into the development of this project because we know that we operate in an uncertain economic climate. This project provides a unique economic opportunity for those in the area to diversify. Currently commodity prices are trending significantly lower.

This project provides the following:

A. Investment diversification to agriculture

B. During construction there will be upgrades to roads and opportunities for subcontractors, suppliers, fuel, concrete, trucking, service and repair, etc.

C. Economic impact during operation

*$1.1 million per year in payments to participating landowners

* $885,000 per year tax revenue distributed as follows:

- School district (52 percent) $460,000 per year, $9.2 million over 20 years

- Stutsman County (37 percent) $327,000 per year, $6.54 million over 20 years

- Townships (9 percent) $79,000 per year, $1.58 million over 20 years

- Fire districts (2 percent) $17,000 per year, $340,000 over 20 years

- $40,000 per year Community Fund ($800,000 over 20 years)

*?10 full-time jobs

We feel a sense of pride to have a state-of-the-art wind farm in the area. We are fortunate to be growing when many communities are shrinking. We are proud to be generating cost-effective home-grown renewable energy. We fully support what we are doing and believe it will be good for the landowners and surrounding communities. This project will donate $40,000 per year to a new local nonprofit controlled by local members of our community to meet local wants and needs.

As lifetime residents of this community, we value our neighbors and call them friends. We understand that a few may feel uncomfortable or inconvenienced by the wind farm. We ask folks to please remember that power lines, water lines, phone and fiber optic cables bring conveniences to your home by going across land that other people own and may have to farm around with no benefit to them. We have learned that we all must give and take to make it work in rural areas.

(Dick, Mitchell, Somsen, Soupir and Bischoff are members of the board for Courtenay Wind Farmers, LLC)