Editor, Bedford Gazette:

Wind turbines on Dunning and Evitts Mountain are a bad idea for Bedford Township and Bedford County for many reasons. The next time you drive to Altoona on 1-99, please look to your right about a half-mile before the Osterburg exit. That is where Dunning's Mountain turns southwest and becomes Evitts Mountain. A wind developer hopes to locate 10 to 15 turbines and possibly more, on top of Evitts Mountain.

Evitts Mountain is very steep and narrow. Wind turbines require a substantial access road for construction and maintenance plus room for the installation of large concrete foundations for each unit. An access road and turbine foundations on top of Evitts Mountain will require reducing its height by eliminating its ridge top. This is an enormous earthmoving project that will require months of drilling and dynamiting plus relocation of thousands of rock. Because a great deal of forest will be destroyed, water runoff problems for property owners below are likely to occur. Both mountains area a tremendous wildlife area that benefit people on each side of the mountains. An access road and turbines will destroy this valuable wildlife asset. 

Most of us know that people visit Bedford because of our scenery and our many downtown events. They often shop and dine — plus visit local attractions. Destruction of Evitts Mountain to install wind turbines will negatively impact jobs, business income, and taxes generated by tourism that significantly benefits our County. We must think about the future now and take steps to protect it. The only way to protect Evitts and Dunnings Mountain is with an updated and improved wind turbine ordinance enacted by Bedford Township and the other impacted townships. 

Bedford Township's existing wind ordinance is over ten years old and doesn't properly address currently known impacts from wind turbine development, such as noise, environmental, economic, shadow flicker and similar impacts. There are many people in Somerset that know very well that installing a noisy turbine without proper setback distances is inadequate for every day life. 

Many of us in Bedford Township hope that the existing wind ordinance will be modified to ensure the protection of township residents' property values and quality of life in all 3 townships. The time for an improved wind ordinance is now and a proper ordinance will position our county for a better future. 

Once Dunning/Evitts Mountain is destroyed it will be gone for forever. 

Sam Pratt

Bedford Township

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