Town Leadership, Staff and the Health Board will suffer an unprecedented spike in sleep disturbance complaints if ‘any’ of the wind turbine operation plans under consideration, go into effect when howling fall and winter winds return to Falmouth.
The basis of Town Manager Suso’s (staff) ‘numbers’ are focused on noise violations being documented at only one property, each of the five (5) nights tested, over the course of four (4) months. A more confident rendering of information (supported by MA DEP and most 2nd graders with an appreciation of scientific deduction) is that a pronounce probability exists, given variables not unique to weather and wind character of the fall and winter season in Falmouth, to deduce that violations are occurring at properties not tested. It’s nearsighted to limit this sampling data to only a single property and a set duration of time, given the randomness and volatility of Falmouth’s weather and wind.
Fueling the staff’s ‘numbers’ is the use of financial statistics to support a political stance of trying to make the budget work, while providing annual deficit avoidance to taxpayers. All the while, impervious and non-inclusive of WTOP/ Board of Health resident testimonial impact data.
Missing from the Selectmen’s conversation and consideration is the financial makeup, in any of the plans, that carry up-front harm preventitive mitigation cost, (i.e. the costs of buying homes (which homes?), and insulating initiatives (i.e. door, window, sound proofing outfitting as well as 50’ high sound-proof property barriers (all of which found not to be effective per the WTOP Report to Selectmen).
The cost debate says that too many unknowns remain. The estimates by town staff, whether right – or wrong, so far haven’t included the curfew pre-modification costs of mitigation. It’s naive not to account for factors in an actuarial analysis that affect the bottom-line cost. This is a huge town decision that, after mitigation measures, is likely going to be heavily subsidized by the tax payer.
The biggest problem with the presented wind turbine operation plans is that Selectmen still don’t have the complete means to qualify the botton-line cost to the citizen.
Coupled with the lack of all the necessary information, there is little way for Selectmen to know if a property is eligible for mitigation subsidies. This makes the rushed policy open for fraud and abuse. Are potential complainants to be on the Selectmen’s honor or exclusion system ( especially with public confidence in the Board so low)?
The goal to achieve wind energy solvency without first understanding the health consequences placed upon nearby residents is "poor government policy". Selectmen need to take a reflective look at their mission statement! - the first 12 words “To provide strong community leadership to ensure a high quality of life...”