To the editor:
This letter is in response to the various letters written concerning the windmills that may be built on Jacks Mountain. I would agree with all of the authors of said letters as to the negative conditions those proposed windmills would cost. I have written letters to The Sentinel concerning those same negative costs windmills would bring us as residents of Mifflin County. On the other hand we should take into consideration the potential dollars such a movement would bring to the owners of the portions of the area that would be sold for erection of the windmills as well as the access routes. This would be a "windfall" for those owners of the purchased areas.
A number of years ago there was a growing desire to own farm land for purposes other than for farming. The state and local governments saw the temptations for farmers to sell their land at previously-unheard-of dollars. That time the governments stepped in to say "wait a minute it is to our benefit to preserve as much farm land as we can so we will pass a bill to buy the developmental rights of farm land so that land will forever remain as valuable farm land." It worked to a large extent. It did not completely prevent the sale of farm land because the farmer could always "buy back" the farm land preservation money. In that case the buy back cost would be quite high. As a result there is a lot of thinking on all sides as to whether the cost would be advantageous or not. At any rate it did considerably reduce the movement from farm use to commercial use.
At the present time those who oppose the potential "Jacks Mountain" sale for electricity production are asking those who presently own the land take 100 percent of the potential loss of money from such a sale. Is that fair? Is any of the Jacks Mountain land in consideration owned by government entities or is it all owned by private entities?
Perhaps those who (including myself) would like to see Jacks Mountain remain as is, in other words would be "windmill free," should offer to buy those rights. Do I see any risen hands? Would any of those who oppose windmills on Jacks Mountain be willing to start a fundraising plan to buy the rights to keep Jacks Mountain as a "windmill free" entity?
John E. Brockett