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JPC to hear public comment on wind turbines

A meeting will be held May 7 to gather comments from the public about a possible wind turbine farm in Mason County.

The public meeting is part of the Mason County Joint Planning Commission’s task of investigating and drafting ordinances that would regulate such a project.

The matter has come before the JPC related to a possible wind turbine farm in southern Mason County and northwestern Fleming County. The project is under study by Duke Energy Renewables and several contracts with landowners in the May’s Lick community have been signed.

In coordination with Zoning Administrator Matt Wallingford, JPC board members have attended two meetings to learn more about industrial wind turbines, what aspects and elements to consider and recommend related to ordinance language that would be presented to local county and city officials for for action by those legislative bodies.

As part of the process, Steve Edson, planning and zoning administrator for Tipton County, Ind., and the city of Tipton, has been hired by Mason County Fiscal Court to serve as a consultant to offer guidance through the planning and zoning process. He is currently working with Tipton officials to draft a third version of standards and regulations related to wind turbine farms in Tipton County.

On March 19 and 26, JPC board members and Wallingford traveled to Tipton County to observe those wind farms.

Wallingford said during Wednesday’s JPC meeting, Edson and JPC board members looked at aspects of the Tipton ordinances and how those could be adapted to the proposed project in May’s Lick.

Wallingford said in addition to public comment during the May 7 hearing, he expects to hear from experts in the area of wind power to also be on hand and offer comment. In addition to Edson being present, Wallingford said he expect the Citizens Voice of Mason County group, which is opposed to the project, to have an expert on hand to offer comments.

The public hearing will be conducted as part of the regular monthly meeting of the JPC, which is scheduled for May 7 at 5:30 p.m. The tentative location for the hearing is the Maysville Conference Center on East Second Street.