Union's plan for wind turbine flies with M'ville officials

2013-04-24T18:15:00Z 2013-04-24T21:16:20Z Union's plan for wind turbine flies with M'ville officialsChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | A local electrical union on Tuesday obtained clearance to install an electricity-generating wind turbine on its property near the intersection of 73rd Avenue and Mississippi Street in Merrillville.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697 received variance of use approval from the Merrillville Town Council to advance the project.

The turbine would be about 160 feet tall, and its main purpose would be to provide union members with job training opportunities to teach laborers how to install such facilities.

The construction site is near the Hobart border, and some nearby Hobart residents said they are concerned the project could create nuisances, affect wildlife and reduce property values.

A Hobart resident told the council Tuesday that several Hobart residents have signed a petition asking that the project be halted. Merrillville council President Carol Miano directed the resident to provide the petition to Hobart officials because it was only signed by Hobart residents.

Hobart City Councilman Jerry Herzog said he, Merrillville Town Councilman Tom Goralczyk and IBEW officials visited the site of three wind turbines in Lafayette to research the concerns residents expressed.

Herzog said he found no problems with the Lafayette wind turbines, and he supports the IBEW project.

Merrillville Councilman Shawn Pettit said the IBEW has "always done a top-notch job" and he doesn't expect anything less with this project.

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