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Dawson County board approves wind tower

LEXINGTON – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners approved building a meteorological tower in southwest Dawson County Thursday.

The tower will be 197 feet tall and will be used to measure wind velocities and direction in anticipation of a 50-tower wind farm proposed by Geronimo Wind Energy of Edina, Minn.

The tower will be five miles east and two miles north of Farnam.

Geronimo representative Charlie Daum said the tower would remain in place five years or more. The wind farm, if built, will be located between state Highways 21 and 47.

Geronimo has a 125-tower wind farm in southwest Minnesota. It is expected to provide enough electricity to power 600 homes.

Daum said the tower will meet FAA specifications. Sheriff Gary Reiber was told it would be up to the company’s engineers whether to allow broadcast signal repeaters for law enforcement.

Commissioner P.J. Jacobson suggested using warning balls on the guide lines of the tower to warn off crop-spraying planes.

The commissioners also heard a series of proposals from Project Extra Mile to control alcoholic beverage consumption where special liquor licenses are issued.

While praising the work of Project Extra Mile to discourage the use of alcohol by underage drinkers, the commissioners said they were interested in a meeting with cities and villages of the county. Countywide uniformity might help keep young people from acquiring alcohol and set standards for legal enforcement.

In other business, the commission:

n Deferred action on a request to have Dawson County be part of a funding effort to finance the breakup of ice jams in the Platte River next winter. Central Platte Natural Resources District would administer the program, drawing on a fund of $50,000 that participating counties would create with county funds. Dawson County’s share of the fund would be $3,450.

n Approved changes to the speed limit on West Prospect Street in Lexington. A study on West Prospect Street showed that Lexington has posted speed limits of 35 mph east of South Adams Street. West of South Adams, the speed limit is 55 mph. The study suggested that a more gradual speed limit be used for eastbound traffic to avoid the abrupt change.

The commissioners ordered signs to be erected for both east and westbound traffic.

n Discussed possible candidates for the position of roads engineer, but terminated the discussion because it involved personnel issues. Three candidates have applied for the position. The commissioners will meet with candidates that are qualified for the position.