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Padroni resident balks at commission's windfarm approval  

STERLING – The County Commission unanimously approved Tuesday a 99-year conditional use permit for Peetz Table Wind Energy, LLC, to construct a generating facility; but at least one person was not that happy about it.

“My concern is making sure we preserve the beauty of the canyons,” said Allen Ramey during the public comment portion of the commissioner’s hearing.

“To some people they’re ugly and some people love them,” said Jack McLavey, commission chairman, in response to Ramey’s comment.

“The primary concern is renewable energy, and at some point we have to move away from fossil fuels.” He added that wind energy is environmentally clean.

The exchange ended there, but after the hearing Ramey was not completely satisfied with McLavey’s response.

“When our children get older and want to see the beautiful scenery, they won’t be able to because of these robot-looking things out there,” Ramey said in a phone interview. Ramey added that he’s not against renewable energy, but he’s not sure that the wind energy’s benefit outweighs the impact to the scenery and area wildlife.

“I used to look to the north at night to see the sky and the stars,” Ramey said. “Now all you see is flashing lights and, during the day, you see these things that look like robots out there … it has destroyed the effect of what God has given us.”

The commissioners tabled a request by Peetz Table Wind Energy, LLC, to reroute the right of way granted for the company’s transmission line that crossed both county and private land. In December 2006 the commissioners approved a right of way for the transmission line but asked the company to consider rerouting it to avoid certain areas. During Tuesday’s hearing, the company proposed a new route for the transmission line and asked for approval of the new route, which would have left the company with two right of ways for the same transmission line.

Commissioner Greg Etl asked a company representative at the meeting, Ferrin Cooper, why the company can’t settle on one route. Cooper told him the company was looking for “flexibility,” and said it was possible it would vacate the original route. Etl moved to table the decision until the company could determine which route it would end up with.

Peetz Table Wind Energy, LLC, is a subsidiary of Florida Power and Light, one of three firms in the wind energy business near Peetz. The other two are Invenergy and enXco.

In other business, the commissioners voted to renew the conditional use permit for Kinder Morgan Interstate Gas Transmission, LLC to operate a gas compressor facility east of Sterling off Highway 6. The permit is in effect until Feb. 19, 2016.

The commission also approved a contract between the county and Dick Scott for HVAC engineering for the Central Services Building expansion project in the amount of $9,188.

The commissioners also approved the renewal of conditional use permit for a gravel and sand pit on the property of Galen Reese in Atwood. The new permit allows him to run the pit until Feb. 26, 2012.

By AJ Vicens
Journal-Advocate staff writer

AJ Vicens can be reached at 522-1990, Ext. 237 or by e-mail at: ajvicens@journal-advocate.com
journal-advocate.com

2 March 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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