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Township denies wind project’s road permits

GOODHUE – Belle Creek Township withdrew its moratorium on wind development in early January rather than fight AWA Goodhue in court over the moratorium’s legality. However, it doesn’t appear that the township has any intention of backing down from a new fight with the wind company.

During a meeting Wednesday night, the town board denied the wind company’s request for 17 road access permits, 14 right-of-way permits and one annual transportation permit for heavy machinery. All are needed prior to the company’s stated goal of beginning construction on June 1. A check for $3,420 was also returned to the company for the permit fees associated with the Dec. 7, 2011, application.

Belle Creek Township Board chairman Chad Ryan said Thursday that the township is seeking a comprehensive road agreement that encompasses “one big bundle” rather than a piecemeal arrangement. In the absence of such a well-rounded plan, Ryan said Belle Creek felt forced to reject the permit applications in order to comply with the 60-day deadline. Township attorney Troy Gilchrist warned that no response could have led to another lawsuit by AWA Goodhue over the delay.

In Friday’s print edition, learn how Belle Creek Township plans to proceed.

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