Havelock commissioners approved a resolution opposing North Carolina wind projects in low-level military flight training areas.
Havelock commissioners approved a resolution opposing North Carolina wind projects in low-level military flight training areas Monday night.
The resolution is similar to one passed by commissioners in Wayne and Craven counties.
At issue is a proposed windmill farm that would involve construction of 49 wind turbines at a height of more than 500 feet in nearby Beaufort County.
The resolution states that the turbines are directly in a training route used by Air Force F-15 Strike Eagles to transit from Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro to the Dare County Bombing Range.
It also states that the wind project may also affect Cherry Point radar capability and thus hinder the mission of the Marine Corps.
The resolution states that the electromagnetic signatures of the turbines can interfere with communications and create false targets or obscure targets from radar.
"This causes serious problems for military air traffic controllers, fire desk operators, and unmanned aircraft collision avoidance observers, who depend on crisp, uncluttered radar display to manage and direct aircraft movement," according to the resolution. "Wind turbines increase the likelihood of collisions and make it more difficult for on-site defense forces to identify potential threats in time to react effectively."
The resolution points out that the Marine Corps has lost about 85 percent of flight training airspace in Eastern North Carolina, and that the windmills would only add to encroachment issues that could threaten the bases in any potential Base Realignment and Closure process.
Among other things, the resolution calls for stricter permitting and public input processes for wind and solar energy projects and for General Assembly "to pass state legislation blocking all encroachment or impairments to military training routes."
Mayor Jimmy Sanders said state legislators needed to know the conflict between wind energy projects and the stateís important military airspace.
"Thatís the whole purpose so that this becomes a well-known issue at the state level and at each time, before it was to be approved, that it would have to justify that it was not detrimental to the military airspace," Sanders said.
In other business Monday night, the board:
- expressed interest in going forward with a short-term lease agreement to rent the old Fleet Reserve building on Webb Boulevard, now city owned, to Victory Chapel. The church plans to use the facility for a teen support program and has started an application for a conditional-use permit with the city planning department. A second prospective lessee declined to move forward with plans to use the building.
- heard from City Manager Jim Freeman that a transfer of the assets of the Havelock Historical Preservation Society had been recorded as of Oct. 1. Freeman said that an inventory of the artifacts previously held by the society at the old Trader Store had begun and that locks on that building and the adjacent historic train depot had been changed.