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County could still join legal battle

Wind energy is no miracle cure to global warming or foreign oil. Wind technology comes with its own risks and benefits.

Goodhue County’s 10-rotor setback is a common-sense standard that will help protect neighboring property values and prevent the worst problems from wind development.

We worked hard to achieve this limited measure of protection. The work to ensure our local ordinance is not ignored is an ongoing legal battle. Goodhue County’s failure to appeal the PUC’s decision not to enforce the setback risks property values and even our health.

Commissioner Jim Bryant stated that by appealing we could lose the PUC’s acknowledgment we have a right to specify setbacks. A valid concern, which I share, however our right to establish setbacks was not granted by the PUC, bu by state statute.

Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel’s argument was that this fight has gone on long enough.

I say if you do not enforce our ordinance, wind developers will cover every acre of Goodhue County they can sign with wind turbines – because having CapX2020 transmission line here will make this prime wind development territory. Without setbacks that protect the established residential uses, rural property values will be devastated.

Local ownership of development projects in conjunction with adequate setbacks could mitigate most concerns. Goodhue County should insist upon true C-Bed projects, brining tens of millions of dollars to local owners as opposed to mere thousands of dollars in wind lease payments.

Commissioner Richard Samuelson, you owe citizens of your district your vote on this issue. Times are changing, the county must be aggressive to minimize local damage and maximize local gains.

Commissioners Ted Seifert and Ron Allen, thank you for supporting Goodhue County’s wind turbine ordinance.

Bryant, Rechtzigel and Samuelson, any of you could make a motion to reconsider the failed motion to appeal. This should not end with an indecisive surrender. Goodhue County has been out maneuvered by those that would take our resources and diminish our county. The county’s lack of participation in the appeal process unfairly burdens local citizens.

Rick Conrad

Goodhue