The Carroll City Council Monday voted 5 to 1 to ban wind-turbine development in the 2-mile area around the city.
MidAmerican Energy has planned a 100-turbine wind project that will stretch from Carroll to Breda. It is expected to be complete by the end of the year and seven of the turbines in the initial plan fell within the 2-mile area to the northwest of Carroll where the city has authority.
The council’s action runs counter to a Planning & Zoning recommendation for approval of the plan.
But Councilman Bob Eich was the only member who supported the plan, saying he didn’t think the erection of the turbines in the northwest area outside of Carroll would staunch future growth.
“I see no problem with it, I don’t,” Eich said.
Councilwoman Carolyn Siemann said she opposed any turbines in the 2-mile limit as she foresees potential growth there.
“I think we have to leave the space there for it to happen,” Siemann said.
Tom Budler, MidAmerican’s general manager for wind, said the likely housing development in Carroll will be to the south – and that no turbines were planned for areas to the northeast or near the Carroll Airport.
“Most use in the long-term plan (for the city) looks to extend to south,” Budler said.
He said the turbines have a lifespan estimated at 20 years and that lease agreements with landowners would extend for 50 years.
Councilman Phil Phillips said the proximity of the land to Carroll Middle School and Carroll High School make it potentially attractive for future housing development that would be prevented with the turbine siting.
“You don’t know which direction the city is going to grow,” Phillips said.
Budler told the Daily Times Herald after the meeting that MidAmerican would now move the seven turbines and continue with the full project.
By Douglas Burns
17 July 2008
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