Possibility of a wind farm in Brown County divides neighbors
BROWN COUNTY, Texas —
A company is asking Brown County land owners to lease their property for a wind farm.
While a handful of land owners have signed on already, the issue has caused division among neighbors in Brown County.
Jeff Tucker opposes wind farms and has a website called Won't Feel Like Home.
"They are a rape and a blight on the Texas rural community," Tucker said.
Tucker is also part of a Facebook group called Save South Brown County and he said that wind farms have several negative economic impacts.
"As we've studied it, that's where land owners have started to say this really is not the windfall or the lottery win that everybody professes it to be, especially over a given period of time," Tucker said.
Tucker said that the fine print locks land owners into hosting wind turbines for decades.
Meanwhile in Blanket, the Blanket Independent School District is reaping the rewards of wind energy.
"As a school administrator, the benefits have been enormous," Blanket ISD Superintendent David Whisenhunt said. "They've allowed us to do things that we could not have done without going up on taxes."
The southern part of Comanche County falls into Blanket ISD's taxing district, where there is a wind farm.
"We bought three buses in the last two years. We've done [the] parking lot and road work," Whisenhunt said.
Brown County Commissioner Gary Worley issued a statement on Monday concerning the wind turbines.
A few land owners in the southwestern part of Brown County, which falls in Worley's precinct, have agreed to lease their property for a wind farm.
"I'm remaining neutral about it," Worley said on Wednesday. "It's a property rights issue until it comes for a request for a tax abatement, and then either the Commissioners' Court can grant it or not grant it."
However, some citizens are concerned about the Brown County Commissioners giving the company a tax incentive to build.
Worley said that Brown County has never granted a company a tax abatement for a wind farm.
Below is the full statement that Worley released on Monday:
It is my understanding that the process of leasing property for wind turbines has begun in the southwestern part of Brown County.
The Brown County Commissioners Court has no voice in this process as it is a property rights issue. It is up to each individual property owner whether they lease their property or not.
The only time that the Brown County Commissioners Court gets involved in this process is when the wind farm project comes before the court asking for a county tax abatement.
Before making a vote on giving a tax abatement I will seek the opinion of the voters of Precinct 1.