Wind farms remain a campaign issue in two southern Brown County towns, despite a company’s recent decision to cancel plans for 100 wind turbines in Morrison, Glenmore and other nearby communities.
Invenergy LLC said it would not pursue permits for a wind farm in the area, but campaign signs related to wind energy continue to dot the landscape, and candidates say they still need to be prepared with future proposals that could affect residents’ quality of life.
“We have to keep in mind that there are other projects like this out there, smaller developments,” said Todd Christensen, who is seeking re-election as Morrison town board chairman, “and there could be more in the future.”
Invenergy would have put 54 turbines in Morrison, four in Glenmore, and others in Wrightstown and Holland. Because some town officials expect there will be other developments proposed, towns are banding together to push for consistent regulations on issues related to windmills, and are asking state officials to consider their concerns. A handful of wind turbines were built as part of another project off Wisconsin 96 near the hamlet of Shirley.
But candidates also say there are issues beyond wind-energy regulation.
Cliff Hammond, who is challenging Christensen, said the next town board also will need to work to maintain a balanced budget as financial support from the state and county decline.
Kriss Schmidt, who is running for board chairperson in Glenmore, said board members will have to make sure basic services like snowplowing and road-patching are maintained.
Pat Kolarik, who also is running for Glenmore board chair, said the key for elected officials will be to focus on maintaining residents’ quality of life whether the issue is wind energy or something else.
“There are going to be a number of challenges we have to address – budget, services, appropriate setbacks for any structure,” she said. “The goal for me would be to work with residents on appropriate solutions.”
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