Frank Kirschenheiter, who’s president of the Richardton city commission, likes to take in the view from his front porch.
“They’ll be sticking from over the top of that hill,” Kirschenheiter said.
His view could soon be obstructed by wind turbines.
“It makes no sense to have a wind farm in the middle of a community of residents, rather than out in the country like everywhere else in North Dakota,” Kirschenheiter said.
His main issue with the wind farm…
“Location, location, location, location,” he said. “This is not the location for these.”
It’s not just the head of the city commission in Richardton that doesn’t think this area would be great for a wind farm. If approved, turbines will also be visible outside of the town of Taylor.
The project would also cross Interstate 94 and will be visible to all of the residents living in Gladstone.
“It becomes neighbor against neighbor, because the land tracks are so fragmented,” said Kurt Martin, the mayor of Gladstone. “I think they need to go to a spot where there is larger land owners and it affects less people.”
But the company says this spot has the right amount of wind, and is strategically located near transmission lines.
“We have secured enough land to support the project so all the turbines and infrastructure to build the project,” said Melissa Hochmuth of NextEra Energy Resources.
The company needs a conditional use permit from Stark County.
“The point of tomorrow’s meeting is to show we are in compliance with all the county’s requirements to responsibly build a wind farm,” Hochmuth said.
The final citing application comes from the Public Service Commission.
“Speaking for myself, the county really holds the cards in these things,” said public service commissioner Brian Kalk. “If you have a county that doesn’t provide a conditional use permit, I don’t think that’s our business, if the county has decided they don’t support the project.”
Each side is waiting to see which way the wind blows.
Tomorrow, the company will present the project to Stark County’s planning and zoning board. That meeting starts at 3 p.m. mountain time at the Stark County Courthouse in Dickinson.
Any resident who would like to share their thoughts on the project can give testimony.
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