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Firth wind farm proposal shot down in Bingham County  

The second proposal to essentially allow a wind turbine farm to be built in Bingham County has been brought up again.

The period for testimony and rebuttal has come and passed.

Wednesday night, Planning and Zoning Board Members discussed the issue and made their decision.

It came down to a tied vote, and as the Board Chairman said that means the motion passes and there is ten days for the decision to be appealed.

There were some heated moments though right before that came down, but first here’s what the developer and land owner had to say about the turbine development right before the meeting started.

Ted Thompson, Firth Land Owner: “We’re in the cattle business and the cattle business isn’t that good right now and the future for it is kind of bleak and this will allow us to keep our ranch. We can run cattle if we can and if we ever decide to go back to farming we can.”

Wade Riser, Western Energy: “It’s really an ideal location, the wind is great it gives an economic boost to the economy here and it brings jobs to the are, it provides a tax base.”

Right after the motion was made, a short break was called for. Here ‘s where it gets a little sticky.

One of the board members had missed the last meeting pertaining to this and made that clear at the beginning of the meeting.

He did not take part in the discussion but he says he never indicated that he would not be voting.

During the break, he spoke to some other officials with planning and zoning and this is the reaction that came from Board Member Merrill Blake.

Merrill Blake, Bingham Planing and Zoning Board Member: “It’ll come back to the exact same reason because you took him off to the side and against non-open meeting law that you’re required to have with the microphones, and we have no idea what you said.”

The official said he was not trying to sway him either way.

That board member did end up voting, making it a tie that shot down the proposal.

The land in question is East of Firth and South of Shelley in the foothills.

The “would be” developer of the 66 turbines says the farm would take up one percent of the 5,000 acre area.

Tammy Scardino

June 26, 2008


This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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