Deb Colle, Delmore Township, presented a letter regarding the approved regulations to Gamesa’s Commercial Wind Energy Project resolution written by Larry and Pat Weibert, Bonaville Township, to county commissioners during a recent Board of McPherson County Commissioners meeting.
The letter’s purpose was to convince county commissioners to keep the moratorium in place regarding wind farm turbines and for them to take more time to listen to what Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and officials from the Kansas Corporation Commission and the Department of Kansas Wildlife and Parks say about wind energy. The letter suggested commissioners should also consider those who will be affected by the wind turbines.
“We feel it is important to give more time before opening up to a situation that could be detrimental to the County of McPherson,” said the letter from Larry and Pat Weibert.
The Weiberts made an argument that Gov. Sebelius told the media that she doesn’t feel that commercial wind energy should be in places of beauty, virgin grasslands, culture and of history.
Sebelius also said the turbines should be built in western Kansas or on altered ground.
They also said that a commercial property should not be in prairie land that can never be returned to grassland.
“We have very little grazing land left in McPherson County and that area is probably prettier than anywhere else in the Flint Hills,” the Weiberts’ letter stated.
County Commissioner Harris Terry’s response was that the state level of legislation isn’t too serious about the issue regarding commercial wind farms, but there is a commission that is considering the issue and is trying to deal with the matter.
“With the changes in the wind, that may be the benefit in the long run for McPherson County to wait and see if the state will evaluate it,” he said.
County Commissioner Don Schroeder said that the moratorium process is done and that it can’t continue unless there is another concern presented.
Neil Colle, Delmore Township, presented a recent report regarding the concern from the Directors of Defense, Research and Engineering, about the effects from wind farms on military radios.
It also mentions that McPherson County is a concern that could considered for the CWEP. He also argued that the McPherson County Planning Board, Zoning Appeals Board and the county commissioners did not consider the Department of Defense for the regulations.
“Planes have been flying over there for years, in training on their way to Smoky Hill Bombing range,” he said.
Schroeder said that if it was a concern to the state, the government would have said something about it.
By Lisa Lucero
Sentinel Staff Writer
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