FAIRFIELD TWP., Mich. – A tower built to monitor weather for a potential wind energy project in Fairfield Township and court-ordered to be taken down will be removed as soon as ground conditions improve.
Fairfield Township Supervisor Curt Emmons said the ground has yet to sufficiently freeze for the tower along Arnold Highway to be removed by Orisol Energy U.S. Inc., the company responsible for its placement.
Emmons said he has been in regular contact with Orisol officials for updates on the matter.
“As soon as weather permits, the rigs and crane needed to get in there and take it down, will,” Emmons said Friday.
The 262-foot tower erected in November 2010 by Orisol is in violation of Fairfield Township zoning ordinances, which restricts tower heights to 39 feet.
Orisol appealed to Lenawee County Circuit Court last year after the township’s zoning board of appeals refused to grant a variance for the 262-foot tower. The board stated the tower is covered by a 39-foot height limit and is not allowed on agriculturally zoned land.
Last fall, an affidavit from Orisol’s director of North American operations, Cliff Williams, stated it would cost “in excess of $60,000 to remove the MET tower and install it in a new location.”
The cost of setting up and operating the tower on Arnold Highway is more than $90,000 so far, Williams stated.
The appeal was denied and the tower ordered to be dismantled.
Emmons said the township board at its meeting last month extended its moratorium on a proposed wind generator ordinance. The six-month delay will give the township planning commission more time to gather information, Emmons said.
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