Seneca anti-wind group opens office

Seneca Anti-Wind Union opened its office downtown in the Laird Arcade Tuesday afternoon.

The office is to serve as a central location where people can find information about proposed wind turbine projects in Seneca County.

Although days and hours still are to be determined, the office is to be staffed by volunteers who can answer questions.

The organization, which originated in late 2017, has been gaining support and building steam since an April 17 meeting at Camden Falls about the wind farms planned in Seneca County, said Chris Aichholz, one of the group’s leaders.

However, before that, Aichholz said Chris Zeman had started a Facebook page in late 2017 calling to people’s attention the problems the organizations says wind turbines would be in the county.

At the meeting, Aichholz said maps weren’t clear, he couldn’t find his house or where US 224 was in comparison to planned turbines. After the meeting, he said he couldn’t find a website about the proposed local project.

“This isn’t the way it should be,” he said. “We were craving more information.”

Aichholz said the group attended a county commissioners meeting to find out information, but the commissioners didn’t have much information either.

So, he said the organization began a quest to find out information about the two projects planned for Seneca County and inform the public about wind power. He said the group has manned tents at the flea markets at the fairgrounds, area farmers markets and the Seneca County Fair.

“We did as much as we could possibly do to get people aware,” he said.

Then the idea of opening an office surfaced from within the group.

“The right opportunity presented itself and we said, ‘Yeah, sure,” he said.

“It really stemmed from sPower,” he said. “They have an office on Court Street. And we thought if they’re going to have an office, we want an office.”

sPower is the parent company of Seneca Wind, and he said Apex, the company proposing Republic Wind, has an office in Bellevue.

So he said the group decided to take the organization to a new level and opened an office where

“Several people were willing to make key donations,” he said.

“Not everybody has Facebook. Not everybody has email,” Aichholz said. “Now we have a spot where people can ask questions, see maps.”

During a ribbon cutting Tuesday afternoon, Commissioner Mike Kerschner said the organization has the best interests of Seneca County at its heart.

“We are people concerned about Seneca County, our home, now and into the future,” Kerschner said. “This is not a 9-5 job with a paycheck on Friday. This is a passion with no financial reward. We wish to be of value to our children.”

He said the group is interested in the effects of the proposed wind projects, protecting property values, and keeping children out of harm’s way.

“We are here to offer our time, talent and treasure,” he said. “We are volunteers who want to educate and protect.”

For more information, visit the organization’s Facebook page, Seneca Anti-Wind Union, or email senecaantiwindunion@hushmail.com.