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Sometimes The Future Really Does Matter

August 16, 2016
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

As a news reporter, I have learned many things about writing an unbiased article. Keeping personal feelings out can be a challenge, but it is very important to only report the facts.

I have sat through almost every meeting on wind energy and have read many letters to the editor that feel that only the negatives are reported on. In response to this I say, I can only report what is said in meetings and what has mainly been said is generally on the negative side and mostly by people who do not even live in the project area. This is fine because everyone should have a voice when it comes to something that will change the economic future of our county.

I am neither for nor against wind energy, I do not have a major stake in either proposed project areas (I don't live in the zones). What I am in favor of is progress and change if the betterment of the whole is the out come. I cannot figure out nor understand why residents of Palo Alto County are so afraid of change and progress.

We need economic stability in our county. Yes, we have POET, Project Liberty, and AGP, which have come to our area, yet we are still losing businesses such as Alco and Food Pride. Our county schools are having a hard time making budgets each year and we lose more and more good teachers to districts that pay higher wages.

Agriculture is important to the people of our county. I grew up on a local area farm and I only wish my son could have had the same chance I did in this aspect. I would like to see farming stay a large part of the economic value Palo Alto County holds, but I believe in progress and change. If it's not broken why fix it, but if it's not working then we must change and adapt to create opportunities.

What I heard at the last Wind Energy meeting is that the majority of people who attended and spoke are against change. They do not want their way of life infringed upon by something they feel is unnecessary. They do not see that "it," meaning the competitiveness of our county is falling farther and farther behind the rest of the county and other areas in the state. Plus they want to tell their neighbors what they can or cannot do on their land. This is not democracy, this is socialism by a select few that are against progress and resist any form of change.

Why would someone not want encourage neighbors and friends to make decisions that will help their families today and in the future? Why would someone deny their friend, neighbor or future generation farmers the ability to potentially earn $310,000 over a 25 year period just for saying yes your can put a turbine on my property? Why would anyone deny our local schools potentially $840,780? Does anyone realize that at one time in our county history there were at least 9 schools in our county? Almost every town had a school. The only town left with their own school is Emmetsburg. All other schools have consolidated and some are even grade sharing to be able to stay open.

Think of the potential growth that potentially $35,000,000 over 25 years could bring to our country. Think about what approximately $32,000,000 in payments to landowners could do for our county? And if you aren't impressed with figures such as this, think about big business overlooking our county for years to come.

I am for change and progress that betters the communities within our county and gives other business a reason to take a good look at Palo Alto County as the next sight for operations. I would hope that more people would let their opinions be heard and counted, giving the Zoning Board and The Board of Supervisors a more rounded opinion of all the residents in the county. Remember, just because you may not be in a project area, this really does affect you and the future of economic development within Palo Alto County for many years to come. Let your voice be heard.



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