ST. GEORGE – Toquerville may be paving the way for a wind energy farm in Washington County.
The city received a petition to annex more than 3,100 acres between the city’s northern boundaries and the Pinto exit on Interstate 15 earlier this month, and a wind power-generating company is reportedly interested in building turbines along the highway corridor if the land is annexed.
“We’ve got wind, so it should be a good thing to have that developed there,” City Recorder Renee Garner said Tuesday.
Hurricane resident Jerry Eves, representing Southwest Wind Energy, LLC, is seeking to establish a wind farm on the west side of Interstate 15 north of Toquerville’s exit 27 interchange, which is in the Black Ridge corridor.
Currently, a company called First Wind operates 165 wind turbines near Milford, generating power for about 60,000 homes in Southern California through an interstate transmission line while providing economic benefits for Beaver, Iron and Millard counties, but no significant wind power is generated in Washington County.
According to the application filed with Toquerville officials, 23.89 acres of private property belonging to the William T. Davis IV and Nora P. Davis Trust would be included in the annexation, with the remainder of the annexed land almost evenly divided between Bureau of Land Management property and land belonging to the state’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.
The City Council observed during its Sept. 11 meeting that some of the planned development area was outside its current proposed annexation area and updated the city’s intent to annex map, including about 5 square miles north of the boundaries for Silver Reef, Toquerville and LaVerkin that reach to the unincorporated Pintura settlement.
That in turn raised concerns with officials in Leeds, which has annexed Silver Reef, but Toquerville’s Planning Commission and City Council responded that municipalities’ proposed annexation maps typically overlap each other and its new map shouldn’t cause conflicts between them.
The current annexation proposal straddling both sides of I-15 west and southwest of Pintura is sponsored by the city at Southwest Wind Energy’s request, with the cooperation of the three land owners affected by the plan, according to the petition signed by their representatives.
The project is titled the “Wind Song Annexation.”
Eves, Toquerville Mayor Darrin LeFevre and the City Council members did not respond to messages requesting further information about the proposal, but according to the September council meeting minutes the city will receive some revenue from the proposed wind farm and the company will defray some of the costs of annexation.
Garner said the company also would benefit from working with one municipal entity instead of separate land owners.
“We’re supporting them, they’re supporting us,” she said.
The City Council accepted the annexation petition during its meeting Dec. 11. A public notice of the certification of the petition will be published for three consecutive weeks beginning Wednesday in The Spectrum’s legal notices section, and copies of the petition are available for the public to view at the city office.
The deadline for protest filings with the Washington County Boundary Commission is Jan. 23.
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