By LISA LUCERO
Sentinel Staff Writer
Angela Krummel-Buzard, McPherson planning and zoning administrator, and C. Bickley Foster, a planning consultant, presented a proposal for the resolution pertaining to regulations regarding commercial and energy projects.
The electric wind farm station regulation proposal was discussed during the McPherson County planning board and board of zoning appeals meeting Monday.
The wind farm will be constructed on 8,000 acres of land in McPherson County. Gamesa will be conducting the commercial wind energy project.
The purpose of the meeting was to revise the current resolution and receive public input.
Krummel-Buzard reviewed the regulations by informing the board and the public.
“The McPherson County Commission directed me to do a study with surrounding counties to see what regulations they had in place and what they were doing,” she said. “It would give a broad view of what regulations can be applied.”
Neil Colle, Delmore, proposed that the McPherson County planning board should adopt a position that is held by the Kansas Renewal Energy Working group and Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
This would mean expanding item No. 14 by including building the wind power facility on previously altered landscapes such as areas of extensive cultivation or urban and industrial development and away from extensive areas of intact native prairies and important wildlife migration areas.
According to Foster, Harper and Butler counties have adopted many of the same regulations.
Krummel said in order to proceed with the construction of the electrical wind farm, the board and Gamesa Energy must get a permit.
The time frame for the project will be extended to a year. The project must meet the conditions of a bond agreement. The surety bond is an incorporated certification to transfer. If the company does fail financially, a bond would recover and bring the negative amount back to a zero.
“Someone will speculate on the turbines and then turn their backs away,” said Debbie Devine, an area resident. “I don’t think a bond will always be your salvation.”
Planning board member Richard Larson was concerned about transmission lines installed above ground and around homes, near the roads and in the middle of pastures. The board agreed that all transmission lines should be installed underground.
Growing concern about noise from the wind farm created considerable debate. A vote for leaving the maximum sound level of 65 decibels out of the resolution occurred. The results of the votes was four members wanting the section left in, while five requested it be left off. The vote would mean residents around the area could file a lawsuit if the sound level is above 65 decibels.
The next meeting regarding the issue is scheduled at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 on the fifth floor of the Bank of America building, 122 W. Marlin, McPherson.
The next meeting regarding the issue is scheduled at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at 122 W. Marlin, McPherson.
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