Ishpeming Wind Turbine Issues

Last month, the Ishpeming City Council voted to give the city’s Housing Commission a letter asking for the wind turbine at an apartment complex to be removed.

But the City Council is still talking about it.

The wind turbine has been outside the Pioneer Bluff apartments for several years.

Because the apartment complex is property of the Ishpeming Housing Commission, that group has jurisdiction over the turbine, not the city council.

Council member Claudia Demarest asked tonight at the council’s meeting why the city has liability insurance on the turbine if it’s on the Housing Commission’s property.

Mayor Pat Scanlon and City Attorney David Savu said that because the land the turbine sits on is titled in the city’s name, the city might be sued if something ever happened to injure someone there.

Scanlon says many residents have asked him recently if the wind turbine really is the most pressing issue the council is facing.

He says that in his opinion, it isn’t, saying the city has bigger fish to fry.

Neither the city nor the Housing Commission have spent any taxpayer money on the prototype turbine.

The company that built and owns the turbine has found that although it does work, it would be too expensive to build and operate on a wide scale.

Officials from the company have told the city it will be replaced in 2013 with a smaller model.