- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ELM SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - A proposed wind farm in Elm Springs has drawn criticism with residents of the small town west of Springdale.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1GhCqEr ) reports about 150 people were at a town hall meeting Tuesday to discuss the proposal with Mayor Harold Douthit and Dragonfly Industries International. The company wants to build dozens of 100-foot turbines on rural land that sits west of Elm Springs.

Those opposed to the wind farm cite safety and property value concerns. Some residents say that the turbines noise, lighting and height would be detrimental to the area.

“We don’t want to be guinea pigs — we don’t want to be the testing ground for new technology,” said Jonathon Hamby, who lives just outside the Dragonfly property and has rallied the opposition in recent weeks.

Dragonfly officials, who were at times heckled by the crowd, said that they are Arkansas natives who want to help the area by erecting a turbine system. CEO Jody Davis said the turbines would be built 1,000 feet from property lines, which is a change from earlier plans. Officials say the system will be safer, quieter and more efficient than conventional turbines.

“It’s been tested, it’s been proven, and we know exactly what it’s going to do and how it’s going to perform,” said Phillip Ridings, the system’s designer

Davis also said the wind farm would bring 25 to 30 permanent jobs to the area, and that no public money or tax credits would go toward the turbine project.

Mayor Douthit has expressed his support for the project. The turbine plans will be reviewed by city or county planners.

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Information from: Northwest Arkansas Times, https://www.nwaonline.com

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