ST. LUCIE COUNTY – Three out of five county commissioners are now publicly against putting wind turbines at Blind Creek Park.
Commissioner Paula Lewis said she is now against Florida Power & Light Co. putting three wind machines on the state-owned land that is managed by the county. She said she was swayed by staff memos that said it would be impossible to replace the land lost at Blind Creek Park by the project.
“Staff’s input was there was no way to replace Blind Creek,” she said. “It just isn’t the place.”
She said she hasn’t made up her mind about whether the turbines could go elsewhere. In addition to the three turbines at Blind Creek Park, FPL also wants to place six turbines on its own property at the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant.
“I’m not closing the door on this issue. We still need to talk about this some more,” she said.
She joins Commissioner Doug Coward, who has been adamantly against placing turbines on public conservation land, and Commissioner Chris Craft, who announced Tuesday he is against any turbines on the island.
Lewis said she made up her mind on the issue several weeks ago and told some anti-turbine activists privately about it. She has not spoken publicly about her decision, though, including after Craft’s announcement Tuesday.
“I didn’t make a public announcement just because that’s not the way I do things,” Lewis said.
She said she still has questions for FPL, including whether the project would still be viable if the Blind Creek site is taken off the table.
Using Blind Creek requires not only the county’s approval for an easement on the site, but the state’s permission as well. A spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection has said the county’s approval is essential to the process. The county also has to sign off on a zoning change and a height variance at the site.
By Derek Simmonson
7 March 2008
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