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Turbine complaint forms available at township and county offices

HURON COUNTY – Complaint forms for all developers with wind farms in Huron County may be picked up at the Building and Zoning Office, located in room 102 in the County Building, or at individual township offices in townships that are self zoned.

Huron County Building and Zoning Director Jeff Smith said during Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting that the county should receive a response by Monday regarding a complaint filed against Exelon Corp. He said the company conducted a noise study at the site in question and found the complaint has merit.

Rita Parsch and Sally Kain, who live in Meade Township, asked Smith what has become of complaints they have filed.

“I’ve been doing this over a year,” Parsch said. “It started with (shadow) flicker, and now I’m losing my hearing.”

Smith advised Parsch to contact Chandler Township Supervisor Bill Renn, because the turbines she has issues with are sited in that township, which is self-zoned.

Regardless of whether turbines are located in a county-zoned or self-zoned township, Smith said he can provide people with official complaint forms.

“Any of the valid complaints I’ve received, I’ve sent to the (development’s) owner,” he said.

He added some of the complaints he has received were not valid, and others were withdrawn because the complaining property owners were not willing to participate in the complaint resolution process.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners voted to authorize Acoustics By Design to conduct a review of the updated noise ordinance as it applies to commercial wind turbine noise at a cost of $7,000. The consulting firm was previously hired to conduct a nighttime noise study and to help the county’s wind energy committee draft the ordinance changes.

Both the wind committee and the Huron County Planning Commission made changes to ABD’s ordinance draft, and planning commissioners asked the board of commissioners to send the draft back to ABD to ensure the changes are appropriate.

In other business during Tuesday’s commissioner’s meeting,

• Commissioners voted to release five acres from PA 116, as requested by Judy M. Shaw.

• Commissioners adopted a zoning amendment that rezones nearly 12 acres from agricultural to industrial in Sherman Township, as requested by Cooperative Elevator Co.

• The salary of Deputy Dave Novock, who works as a road patrol and marine patrol officer, was increased to reflect changes in his duties.

• Jeff Smith’s retirement benefits were redefined to be in line with the benefits of other county employees.