FORT PIERCE – Florida Power & Light Co. should find a new location for one of three wind turbines proposed for John Brooks Park and will need approval of state and St. Lucie County officials to build the other two, County Attorney Dan McIntyre told commissioners in a memo Wednesday.
The company is proposing eight to 10 electricity-producing turbines on public land and FPL property along Hutchinson Island.
McIntyre recommends against building one on property purchased with a $10 million bond issue approved by voters in 1982.
The ballot language approved by voters said the land would be used for “preservation, recreation and open space purposes.”
“Because of the specific language in the ballot question, I recommend that the board not allow FPL to use the county owned parcels to construct windmills,” McIntyre wrote.
John Brooks Park is comprised of three parcels owned by the county and two owned by the state.
The county-owned land is at the north end of the park. FPL would have to find a new site, possibly on state-owned land leased to the county.
The state owns the larger portion of the park, but leased it to the county for public outdoor recreation and related purposes.
“FPL would need to get approval from the … governor and Cabinet and the county since the county has a leasehold interest,” McIntyre wrote.
FPL officials have said all along that the proposed sites are preliminary and could be changed depending on such restrictions, soil conditions and other factors.
“Our attorneys are looking at the land and we won’t do anything until we have all the necessary approvals,” FPL spokeswoman Sharon Bennett said Wednesday.
McIntyre is still researching other county property, such as Frederick Douglass Park, just south of John Brooks Park.
Commissioners and members of the public have been invited to visit wind turbine sites Friday.
Buses will leave the administration building at 8:45 a.m. or people can drive directly to John Brooks Park just south of the Fort Pierce city limit.
By Jim Reeder
6 December 2007
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