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Wind park road agreement at issue

Consumers Energy’s planned Lake Winds Energy Park – 56 wind turbines in Riverton and Summit townships – dominated the discussion at the Mason County Road Commission meeting Friday.

Although 20 people were in attendance, three people did most of the talking. Area residents Carl Anton, Fran Sinnott and Evelyn Bergaila pressed commissioners for answers on three major issues:

• How the utility was allowed to begin construction on a laydown area before a road agreement was in place.

• How much time the public would have to review the road agreement before it was approved.

• How wide the trucks that will deliver wind turbine components will be.

MCRC Chairman Nick Matiash and commissioners Bill Schwass and Doug Robidoux tried to answer the questions while at times it was clear they had no idea what some of those answers were.

As to the first question, Matiash said the utility can’t be denied access to work on its private land. There was a Mason County Road Commission job under way on Meisenheimer Road at the same time as the utility started work on the parcel on Hogenson Road. Mason County Road Commission Managing Director Gary Dittmer said Meisenheimer Road was not destroyed by the two different, unrelated jobs using Meisenheimer Road but there was some limited damage.

Dittmer said as soon as he became aware of the construction traffic using the road he worked with Consumers to re-route the trucks down Scottville Road to Marrison Road to Hogenson Road and Meisenheimer was repaired.

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