Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The Stearns County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously against a moratorium on large wind energy systems.
Commissioners instead voted to appoint a committee to re-evaluate the county's regulations and policies when it comes to wind farms. That committee will be appointed at the next board meeting Tuesday, June 15. It will consist of members on both sides of the issue, as well as Board and Planning Commission members.
The board determined it wasn't necessary to put a moratorium in place, as issues raised by wind farm opponents will be addressed through the state permitting process, by the Public Utilities Commission.
Concerns brought before the board were: turbine noise, shadow flicker, landing ability for emergency air transportation, necessary setbacks, bird impact, road damage, interference with communication systems, and effect on property values.
Comments in favor of the wind turbines were just as abundant, noting the boost in the economy and the green energy.
Comments and letters received from the public filled two huge 3-ring binder books, one for each side of the issue.
After denying the moratorium, commissioners gave their support to Getty Wind for a community-based wind energy development near Sauk Centre.
Geronimo Wind Energy is also proposing four wind projects in Stearns County: one north of Paynesville, another north of Albany, the third south of Sauk Centre and one in Luxemburg Township, east of Eden Valley.