Etowah County Commission members say they have no role in the decisions about proposed wind farms in Etowah and Cherokee counties.
Although the project here does not need any type of approval from the commission, a group from the commission and some Cherokee County officials visited an existing wind farm in upstate New York last week.
Commissioner Kenney Tidmore and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Simms were among the group that went to New York.
“We can’t approve it or disapprove it,” Simms said. “Etowah County Commission doesn’t have a dog in this fight.”
He said there have been a lot of emails, primarily negative comments, about the wind farm.
The governing body in the New York region had home rule authority, Simms said, and passed laws that set high standards for the wind turbines.
“We don’t have that option,” he said.
Tidmore said the wind farm in New York had a lot of opposition when it initially was proposed more than 10 years ago, but now there is a lot of support for it.
He said the visit was enlightening, but it primarily was for local officials to familiarize themselves with the operation should it be approved in Etowah County.
“We don’t have any say so,” Tidmore said.
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