MOTT – Jon Wert, a farmer from the New England area, presented a petition during Wednesday’s Hettinger County Commission meeting seeking minimal zoning requirements for a proposed 72-turbine wind farm in two western Hettinger County townships.
The petition is seeking to change in zoning laws for wind turbines in the proposed Brady Wind Energy Center II to be adjusted from a half-mile away from a residence to one mile.
Landowners in Kunze and Clark townships have been approached to become part of the wind farm, which would be built adjacent to and after the recently approved 87-turbine Brady Wind Energy Center I in southern Stark County.
Sixty percent of the 59 rural residents that live in the two townships have signed and agreed with the petition, Wert said, with 15 percent of those verbally agreeing to the petition. The last 25 percent haven’t been contacted, he said, adding he started work on the petition two weeks ago.
“I’ve been talking to the rural residents of these two townships, because to me those are the people that should have the most say in this, I guess,” Wert said. “I implore the commission to get out and talk to the people.”
Plaggemeyer, who is the New England area’s commissioner, said he knows Wert feels “pretty strongly about the wind farm.”
“We just put it through the right channels and someone has to come up with the decisions,” he added.
The commission is aiming to make its final decision on the wind farm sometime in late April or early May.
“A county commissioner is kind of like a jury,” Plaggemeyer said. “We want to hear all of the information brought to us. We’re kind of in the listening mode right now. Someday we’ll have to make up our minds on if we are for it or against. You just hear everything out and you have to come to a conclusion.”
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