It is a very emotional subject. There are so many opinions
on either side of wind development, and what I’m trying to provide
is fact based information that sorts out the real impacts. I was hearing again and again
from local officials that it was really hard to get
non-biased information. What I received some funding
to do is go around the state and talk to communities who are
considering wind development about the pros and cons. As we had wind energy companies
wanting to come into the community, the fears started that there
would be noise, that they’d be visually
ugly to look at. We needed unbiased information. Sarah did interviews in
other parts of the state. It gave us a lot of facts
and truth based on what people really experience when
they’re living near turbines. We started hearing all
kinds of internet stories. More and more were unfounded. Sarah Mills came up,
just passing along the facts. The assistance of data
allowed us to make decisions
for our future. The turbines help stabilize
our future in agriculture. We also saw a dramatic
increase in our tax revenue. It’s allowed us to
improve our roads, to provide garbage pickup, and we can continue to develop
services for our residents. We research problems and
policies that local governments, state governments are
grappling with right now. It has been so uplifting
when people say “We’re so glad University
of Michigan is here bringing the kind of research
that goes on on campus to rural communities.”