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Palmyra board works on wind turbine ordinance

Work continues on drafting a wind turbine ordinance in Palmyra Township. The board heard comments from the public at a special meeting Thursday before discussing the ordinance approved by the township planning commission in August.

A special meeting was set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the township hall to continue the work. Supervisor Jim Isley suggested board members continue studying the ordinance and prepare questions to be submitted to township attorney Frank Riley.

“We’ve made pretty good progress tonight,” Isley said. “We have heard a lot of the same comments over and over. I hope you feel we are diligent in hearing your comments.”

Laura Van Camp of Palmyra told the board she had sent certified letters to each member and asked them to sign a pledge that they would not sign a lease with a wind turbine developer or interest for five years.

“This pledge would go a long way to eradicating the discussion of conflict of interest or background deals that are currently being deliberated,” Van Camp said.

Another resident took issue with her request.

“That letter is very inappropriate,” said Jeff Ehlert.

After the public comment was concluded, the board began discussion of the proposed ordinance. Isley rejected suggestions that the board place a moratorium on the issue, including one that suggested waiting until the personal property tax issue had been settled by the Legislature.

He said the ordinance has been reviewed by the Region II Planning Commission, but the Lenawee County Planning Commission has not had a quorum at either August or September meetings and had not studied it.

“They have had 30 days to look at this and declined, by reason of not having a quorum,” he said.

Once the ordinance is prepared, Isley said the board has 15 days to set a public hearing. The board’s next regular meeting is Oct. 6.

The ordinance is available for viewing on the township’s website. The address is www.palmyratownship.net.