Marguerite Wells maintains that the agreement is simply an acknowledgement of the inconvenience imposed on the non-participating residents and that it is intended to share 1% of the annual profits by paying each household adjacent to a wind turbine $500 a year. She has denied it is a binding contract. When recently confronted at the December 17 Special Town Hall Meeting by residents who said she had agreed to tear up agreements they had unwittingly signed, she admitted that she had agreed to tear them up but then said she wasn’t sure she could deliver on that promise anymore with no further explanation.
But there is little question that this agreement is a binding contract. Under the agreement, in exchange for an annual $500 payment, a resident will effectively waive his or her rights to sue the wind farm in the future for noise, FAA required lighting and shadows from so-called flicker as well as for construction noise and disruption by granting the wind farm easements for these items for the next 45 years.
One area of confusion is whether the Good Neighbor Agreement or any of the lease agreements with local landowners imposed a gag order on the parties to these agreements. Marguerite denies that there is any such gag order in any of these agreements. There are not, in fact, any gag orders in place with respect to the Good Neighbor Agreement. However, some parties who have signed contracts with the wind farm to lease their property for the project are bound by confidentiality provisions in their lease agreements and they feel they may be threatened with a lawsuit from the wind farm if they speak out against the wind farm project.