Parent in Barre says most town officials haven’t responded to her concerns about turbines

Posted 9 June 2021 at 8:54 am


With regards to the upcoming primary election on June 22, two town council positions will be available. It is important for the Town of Barre residents to have a voice, be able to express concerns on all matters, and have people in town council positions who have the best interest of all residents.

On November 4, 2020 I submitted an email to all four town council board members including the town supervisor expressing my concerns regarding six 680-foot-high wind turbines being placed all within ¾ of a mile from my residence.

My four-year-old child was diagnosed with autism two years ago. Autism is a neurological developmental disorder. All children with autism have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) which causes their nervous system to respond to stimuli much different than an ordinary individual.

People with autism are extra sensitive to sound and visual disturbances due to the abnormal neural connectivity in their brain which can impact their ability to function daily. Therefore, close proximity of wind turbines to an individual with autism can severely impact their quality of life due to the shadow flicker, audible noise, and infrasound. It is important to note that only one town council board member responded to my letter addressing these concerns.

Then on February 3, 2021 I submitted an article to all town council board members written by Grace L. Howell from Western University entitled, “Autism and the effect of introducing a new noise source into quiet rural communities: risk factor from industrial wind power generation,” which validated my concerns regarding the effects on individuals with autism in close proximity to wind turbines. Again, only one town council board member responded to my article.

On February 10, 2021 all four town council board members along with the town supervisor were emailed a note from my daughter’s developmental pediatrician, who diagnosed my child’s autism, expressing concerns for the impact wind turbines can have on a child with autism. Again, only one town council board member responded to the doctor’s note.

In addition, on February 10, 2021 a town board meeting was held without public attendance due to Covid restrictions allowing virtual access through YouTube. One town board member addressed my concerns as a resident while some town board members acknowledged receipt of my three emails including attached documents but dismissed my concerns regarding my child with autism.

It doesn’t matter where you stand on the proposed Wind Turbine Project the concern is that if your position doesn’t align with the current town council board members your concerns may be dismissed and not addressed.

If the Town of Barre residents want to be heard and have their concerns addressed please make a change and vote for George McKenna and Dave Waters for town council on June 22.


Katie Smith