SPENCERVILLE – Spencerville schools plan to build a wind turbine has temporarily been halted. The Spencerville Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-1 refusing to grant a variance to zoning regulations, which prevents construction of any structures more than 35 feet tall.
The proposed 750-kilowatt wind turbine would be 335 feet tall and would be located west of the school parking lot.
“Unfortunately, the village made the decision not to give us a variance to build it,” Spencerville Superintendent Joel Hatfield said.
“I just shared the info with the board of education and they will provide me with some direction as to where to go from here.”
Hatfield said there are two likely courses of action the district can take on the matter.
“One is to walk away,” he said. “Another would be to appeal this decision with the Allen County Court of Common Pleas.”
The Spencerville Board of Education has 10 days to decide on a course of action after the Board of Zoning Appeals gave the official decision to the village clerk. A decision should be made by Sept. 30, Hatfield said.
“We’ve been in contact with our attorneys as well as the companies we’ve been working with for the wind power, getting recommendations,” he said.
The plans to build the turbine came about last spring, when Spencerville Schools began partnering with One Energy on the project.
“This is something we’ve been talking about for a while,” Hatfield said.
Saving money is the main reason for wanting to build the turbine.
“Assuming a 20-year life expectancy, which would be a low estimate, it could potentially save the school $1.5 million plus,” Hatfield said. “What we would do, is we would lease it until the cost of turbine was paid for, and then it would be ours. So it’s kind of a lease-to-own deal.”
The turbine would also be a more green energy source.
“We’re hoping it would produce most of our energy needs for the k-12 building,” he said.
The primary opponent is the land owner on two sides of the school, in the area where the turbine would be built, Hatfield said.
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