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Huntington County homeowners demand change to wind energy ordinance

Homeowners in Huntington County attended a public meeting hosted by the Huntington County Plan Commission Wednesday night to discuss the changes they want to the current wind energy ordinance.

Homeowners want greater restrictions on companies wanting to build wind turbines. Changes in the law they’re hoping for include requiring:

• Wind turbines to be installed further away from property lines
• Wind turbines to be quieter
• Energy companies to provide money to remove the turbines in case of bankruptcy

“The vast majority of people in this community want to see an ordinance that’s both fair to the participating and non-participating land owners,” said Leon Hurlburt, Huntington County commissioner.

Apex, the company over the project, has proposed building the wind turbines in southeastern Huntington County. Apex has put up meteorological towers to understand the wind source in the county, speaking with homeowners about leasing their land for a potential turbine and have set up an office in Huntington where the public can stop by and ask questions about the project.

Rob Propes, Apex’s Development Manager, said any chances to the ordinance will have an effect on the project, but said it’s too early to tell if too much change will stop the project.

“When the Plan Commission put the ordinance together, they spent a lot of time and effort to put that ordinance together,” said Propes. “They visited wind farms; they talked to a lot of other counties.”

Hurlburt said his constituents are not happy with the current ordinance and if changes are made, more of them could support the project.

The plan commission will hold another public hearing on the matter on June 11 at the GAR room in the Huntington County courthouse.