KEARNEY – Wind power is now an option in industrial zones in Buffalo County.
Tuesday, the Buffalo County Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to county zoning regulations to allow wind turbines in industrial zones.
The turbines can be no more than 100 feet tall and generate no more than 65 kilowatts. Interested parties must apply for a special-use permit before building.
Denny Jorgensen, owner of Select Sprayers LLC at 3980 Imperial Ave., requested the amendment and the first permit from the county. He intends to use the turbine to provide power for his business.
Jorgensen’s request had some opposition from local pilots at the public hearing because the turbine would be going in near the runway and would be an obstacle in emergency landings.
“Windmills are just one more thing that make my life more dangerous,” said Tim Williams with Buffalo Air Services. “If you do allow them, put in this regulation that they need some type of special marking … to make it more visible for aircraft.”
Jorgensen’s turbine would have a red light on the top. Before approving his permit, the board also recommended he stripe the base alternating colors to improve visibility.
On another matter, the board spoke again with Christine McIntire from County Appointed Special Advocates about returning the program to Buffalo County. At the last meeting, members of the board expressed support for the program, but said they needed to look at the budget and whether there was office space for it.
CASA recruits, trains and supports volunteers who watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system so they can be placed into appropriate homes. Volunteers get 30 hours of training, and there is only one volunteer per child.
Board member Hoss Dannehl of Riverdale said he looked into office space at the Department of Health and Human Services and R.Y.D.E. Transportation, but each would have to get approval from the state first.
The county is willing to offer CASA a $10,000-per-year commitment for three years but must work out an interlocal agreement with Kearney County before approving the contract.
“I think we want to commit,” board member Sherry Morrow said. “We just need to get all our i’s dotted and t’s crossed before jumping in.”
In other business, the board:
– Gave Buffalo County Sheriff Neil Miller permission to sell old police equipment on eBay. Miller said the department would be more likely to sell the equipment online rather than at the city and county’s upcoming property sales.
– Discussed noxious weed and drainage issues near Collins Township with Jim Bamford.
– Went into executive session for 16 minutes to discuss contract negotiation.
– Tabled approval of a special-use permit requested by Carl Whitney Sand and Gravel Inc to build a gravel pit near Shelton. Neighbors were concerned that the pit would cause drainage issues on their property and with the Platte River.
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