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Wind farm approved By Planning & Zoning Commission in Bingham County

For more than a month now, Bingham County Planning and Zoning has been trying to decide about a wind farm proposed by Ridgeline Energy. Twice the company has gone before the committee, and twice there’s been no decision.

Third time is a charm. Because Wednesday night the zoning and planning commission finally voted four to three to approve the wind farm in the Wolverine Canyon area in Bingham County. But that doesn’t mean it’s official, now it will go before the Bingham County commissioners.

Wednesday night, some of the members of the planning and zoning commission who voted ‘no’ say they are in favor of the idea of a wind farm, but not the location where Ridgeline is talking about.

Ridgeline Energy is proposing, 150 wind turbines to be put in Wolverine Canyon, northeast of Blackfoot. The company applied for a special use permit last September that would have cleared the way for 300 turbines to be built.

Bingham Planning and Zoning has already said yes to 150 of those wind turbines, but landowners appealed that decision to Bingham Commissioners. Landowners Local News 8 caught up with Wednesday say they are for it because it would save them money in the long run but others say it could ruin nature’s beauty.

“I think it’ll bring land owners a little bit of business and money that they need to keep their place. And i think with the workers and everything, it will be good for the county. I think it will bring in a lot of revenue.” says Betty Voglar, who is for the wind farm in Bingham County.

“I just think that its an area that is really unique. And up until this time, in our country, we’ve always set those unique areas aside. And there is no place like wolverine in our area. And we don’t know what the consequences of this will be down the road and so I don’t think its fair to change it without knowing what the changes will be.” Says Chris Carlson, who is against the wind farm in Bingham County.

If the final wind farm approval goes through, then the project will be completed by 2010.

Those who don’t agree with the decision have 10 days to appeal that decision and then the planning and zoning commission has about a month to respond.

By: Genevieve Judge