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Wind farm wars in Bingham County

For weeks now we’ve been telling you about a possible windmill farm that could be built in Bingham County. The Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission has had two public hearings on the matter and tomorrow night, they will vote on whether to allow a special use permit that would make way for the wind farm to be built. But not everyone is happy about the possibility.

Hear that, that’s gold for some people, but others feel robbed by it. Orin Morgan is one of those. “I’m not really against wind power. We need other power sources, so I’m not against it, I’m just against the location.”

Morgan’s cabin is about 2 miles past that farthest windmill. Now if the Bingham County Planning and Zoning commission approves the special use permit tomorrow night, It’s going to extend this wind farm about 13 miles further in Bingham County Now if that does happen, Morgan could end up with one of these giants, or one twice it’s size within 500 feet from his property line.

“We’re at an elevation at 6800 feet and the top of the ridge is 7200.”

“So when you look up the ridge, you’re gonna see that thing right there?”

“Yea, you put a 500 foot tall tower on top of a ridge 200 feet away and you know it’s gonna be there.”

And its being there could cost him money.

“We feel like you know with the windmills coming in and if people don’t like windmills, it’s gonna be hard to sell it if we try to sell it. We’ll probably take a big loss.”

But that’s not the only issue he has with the wind farm.

“See those signs there, keep out, danger, stay away. They’re gonna keep us out of there and we won’t be able to enjoy that any more.”

I called Ridgeline Energy three times today to try to get them to answer to some of these concerns. They didn’t return my call by airtime, but they did answer to some of them in the Public hearings. And tomorrow night Bingham county planning and zoning will cut through all the issues to make a decision.

Anyone who doesn’t agree with their decision then has 10 days to appeal.
The commission then has about a month to respond.
And, If parties don’t like the decision they can file a judicial revue.
So, we’ll bring you what the commission decides tomorrow night.

By Mary Sturgill


22 April 2008