Several months ago Girl Scout Leader Mindy Augare proposed a plan to partner with the New England Lions Club to replace the playground equipment at the New England Lions Park. Several options have been considered, all of them quite costly.
The Scouts launched a fund raising project, selling raffle tickets. Despite the enthusiasm of the Girl Scouts, a limited amount of money was raised. Other sources of money would be needed.
When NextEra Energy Resources learned of the need, they offered to help.
The company, the largest generator of wind energy in the world, typically responds to such needs in communities where they are developing wind farms.
At the regular December meeting of the New England Lions Club, NextEra Energy presented a check for $5,000 to assist with the playground equipment project. “This gets us off to a good start!” Lion Karen Koller said. Additional fund raising opportunities will be pursued.
The Brady Wind Energy Center Project will be located on either side of the Stark/Hettinger county line. Up to 87 turbines will generate up to 150 megawatts of electricity on the Stark County side. The Hettinger County side will be slightly smaller.
Electricity is not all they will generate. Property taxes paid to Stark Counties over 30 years are projected at $20 Million. The Hettinger County side is still in the planning stage. The impact on the counties’ general funds, emergency services, and the New England Public School, will have a dramatic benefit. The project will also create 10-12 full time operations positions.
The most significant concerns would be for the landowners who allow turbines on their property. They are paid on a negotiated lease basis.
Dave Koller said, “I’d rather have a wind turbine on my land, than an oil well,” noting that this source of clean energy is more environmentally friendly, during both the development and production phases of the project.