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County Board places moratorium on wind towers  

Credit:  Written by LOREN UNDSETH, Review Messenger, www.reviewmessenger.com ~~

At their recessed meeting on Thursday, August 19, the Wadena County Board approved a conditional use permit for Russell and Susan Nystrom to erect a 263-foot wind tower on their property in Aldrich Township. The discussion had been tabled from the August 3 regular meeting to allow time to research the issue and receive an opinion from County Attorney Kyra Ladd.

Ladd stated that there was “no legal reason to deny the permit,” since the request to build the wind tower fell within what is allowed by current ordinance. She stated that granting the permit did not mean that the project would move forward. She recommended that the Board grant the permit and place a moratorium on any future wind tower projects until the ordinance can be reviewed. 

Commissioner Rodney Bounds asked if potential health risks were enough reason to deny the permit. Ladd responded that there was no legal basis to support a denial on those grounds.

Commissioner Dave Schermerhorn made a motion to approve the permit, saying, “This is not easy for me, but it is our responsibility to carry this out.” After a second was called for with no response, Ladd explained that if the Board chose not to approve a motion and took no action on the application, the conditional use permit would be automatically granted. Commissioner Lane Waldahl then seconded the motion, and it passed 3-2, with Commissioners Ralph Miller and Bounds opposed.

The Board then unanimously approved a motion to place a 120-day moratorium on small wind energy conversion systems.

Source:  Written by LOREN UNDSETH, Review Messenger, www.reviewmessenger.com

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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