The Trempealeau County Board of Supervisors voted 12-2 to extend the moratorium on a controversial wind ordinance at its regular meeting Monday night.
A motion to pass a county wind ordinance failed in a tie-breaker vote, but board member George Brandt recommended the county allow for public input and consideration of revisions until Dec. 28, 2007.
“It’s public awareness,” said zoning director Kevin Lein. “It isn’t a matter of educating us. Facts aren’t going to change. We still know there is noise and shadow flicker.”
The county had originally placed a moratorium, which ends June 25, on a developer’s request to build a wind farm last September so they could have more time to research and write an ordinance.
Developers and renewable energy advocates said the ordinance was too restrictive in several areas compared to state guidelines, and hindered personal development. Many county residents said the ordinance was not restrictive enough.
“We’re not against wind power. We’re against living in the shadow of industrial-sized wind turbines,” said Galesville resident Ken Kristzman, who helped organize a petition of 250 signatures asking the county to wait on the ordinance.
While some board members expressed concerns about what would change over another six months, others felt more research was needed to understand the economic benefit to the county, health and safety issues of wind turbines and effects wind turbines could have to property values.
“There’s a lot I don’t know about wind turbines before I make up my mind,” said board member Arild Engelien. “What’s so special about Trempealeau County? Why not Jackson, La Crosse or Vernon county?”
Check Wednesday’s Daily News for a full update on the Trempealeau County Board of Supervisor’s decision to extend the moratorium.
By Amber Dulek
19 June 2007