By Ben Curties
Town of Pincher Creek councillors have strongly objected to a proposal for a wind farm between the town’s northern boundaries and Highway 3.
The councillors felt the wind farm would block the Town’s planned expansion route.
“The bottom line is we need room for future growth,” Councillor Ernie Olsen said.
The “Four Corners Wind Farm” development, proposed by ABKO Holdings and 70 Holdings Company, would involve land south of Highway 3, east of Highway 6 and west of Highway 785 on the fringes of Pincher Station within approximately 1.6 kilometres of the Pincher Creek town boundary.
Town Chief Administrative Officer Fran Kornfeld said towns are expected to have 20-50 years of land expansion plans.
A 2003 intermunicipal development plan between the Town and Municipal District of Pincher Creek identifies land north of town as appropriate urban lands for annexation and expansion, and the Town says the plan should be expanded due to a June 10, 2005 annexation.
“The placement of windmills directly between the northern boundaries of the Town of Pincher Creek would either eliminate or severely limit any future expansion to the north,” a Town Council briefing reads.
With intensive livestock operations to the west and the Hamlet of Lowland heights to the east, the Town sees the north as an obvious direction to expand, especially as new business would be close to Highway 3.
The Town cites blocked sightlines, noise pollution, airport traffic and an impact on wildlife and birds in a planned storm water marsh project as other potential concerns.
Councillors also wanted to change a proposed Sept. 20 intermunicipal meeting date on the subject.
The MD, which scheduled the meeting, hopes to bring representatives from both councils together with development reps Allan Kettles and Tom Golden.
The Town councillors also expressed reservations about having a proposed “tourist turbine” in town boundaries, which they dubbed “Big Bertha”.
They suggested that since wind farms pay the MD a lot in taxes, a tourist turbine could be located in the MD, possibly in the Kettles wind farm.
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