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County zoning board OKs wind tower on Hwy. 77

The Dyer County Building and Zoning Board granted a permitted use on appeal to EDP Renewables to place a wind tower on Highway 77. The wind tower, which measures just under 200 feet, is part of a three-year study being conducted by EDP Renewables to see if there is enough wind in Dyer County.

According to EDP Renewables’ website, the organization, also known as Horizon Wind Energy, develops, constructs, owns and operates wind farms throughout North America. Project Manager Paul Cummings told the board that they have developed wind farms in Indiana and would like to see if it is possible to do the same in Tennessee.

“We are coming into a new market of (wind) turbines,” said Cummings. “We believe that the next generation of wind turbines will make wind farms here viable.”

The board asked Cummings what would they do with the power gathered. Cummings responded that his company is an individual power producer and it could wield that power anywhere in the eastern half of the country but they were most likely to sell it to the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Board Member Charlie Ozment asked what the likelihood was of the company renting the space on the tower. Cummings responded that they have never done that in the past. Ozment moved that the tower be approved with board member Terry Parker adding a second. The board members in attendance – Cotton Worley, Ben Regan, Parker and Ozment – unanimously approved it.

In other business:

* Nola Martin of 55 Sarah Circle had requested a front-yard setback variance. After discussions among the board and further inspection of the FAR it was discovered that she did not need the setback variance.

* Travis and Rita Leach of 830 Dr. Hall Road were unanimously approved to have a tool-grinding shop on their property. According to Travis Leach, everything would be delivered in and out by him with no increased traffic by customers. The use permitted on appeal was unanimously granted on a motion by Parker and a second by Ozment.

* The board granted without opposition a request by Danny Goodman to place a mobile home on his daughter’s property at 211 McArmour. Goodman was advised by Building Official Daniel Cobb that the exception had to be renewed every year but he did not need to come before the board each year.