Thursday, June 7, 2007

So Many Questions Still Unanswered

The following letter was written by Lyle Johnston, June 2007

CPV still has a lot of questions to answer.

I found the last meeting of the Joint Planning Commission quite informative, but I still have many questions on the subject. Of these questions, some should be investigated by the newspaper, but all these questions should be addressed by our government before they change Ellis County forever.

Let me first say that CPV’s pictures in the May 23 paper were almost comical. How can you take a picture from around a mile away from Yocemento and still have the elevator look so small? If you can see Spearville’s turbines from 10 miles away, then I would think that taller turbines that sit on a 150-foot bluff here in Ellis County would be very noticeable.

CPV should disclose information on the structural limits of these towers. What will a straight-line gust do to these, much less a tornado?

I still haven’t heard anything on the subject of possible fires.

These are questions that haven’t been directly answered, only answered with terms like “about,” “not far,” “roughly” and “should.” When I read the newspaper interviews, it’s almost entertaining to look for the very subtle wording in statements that excludes CPV from giving a definite answer.

Comparing Spearville to Hays is like comparing apples and oranges. Where are the $200,000 to $300,000-plus homes in and around Spearville that are sitting near them?

If it was such a great deal, why didn’t they put it 2 miles outside of Dodge City instead of over 17 miles away from Dodge and next to a small city of just 813 people (2000 Census)?

My most important questions involve taxes. Kansas Law KSA 79-201, Chapt. 79 (Eleventh) found at the state of Kansas’ Statues Web site (, I know it’s a dot-com reference, but I figure I would go out on a limb and trust the state of Kansas, titled Property Exempt From Taxation states “...all property actually and regularly used predominantly to produce and generate electricity utilizing renewable energy resources or technologies.”

How will this affect the tax base of our county? How much tax revenue will be lost to the county? Should we expand it countywide so nobody has to pay taxes anymore?

Out of the tens of millions that they will profit, the $250,000 or so that CPV will donate to Ellis County annually doesn’t seem so impressive anymore. According to the Ellis County Clerk, the 2007 Ellis County budget was close to $308,437,413. Even the $600,000 “gift” number will be only 0.2 percent of the annual Ellis County budget.

Is this project really worth tearing our community apart more than it already has? I implore residents of Ellis County to keep asking questions about this project:

  • Question what CPV says and does.
  • Question what your government says and does.
  • Hell, question what I say and do (please check my sources).
  • Question who stands to actually gain from this.
Submitted by:
Lyle Johnston
Ellis, Kansas

To Sign the Petition:
If you are an Ellis County, Kansas, resident and you wish to support a petition to prevent this wind farm from being constructed next to Hays, Kansas, you can follow this link and leave your name, real address, and a single comment about your support of this petition. Click here now!

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