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Public hearing to be held on Wind Energy Conversion Systems ordinance  

Credit:  Emily Wenger | June 13, 2016 | qctimes.com ~~

MUSCATINE, Iowa – West Liberty is considering using wind turbines to supplement their energy.

A public hearing was set for 9 a.m. Monday, June 20, regarding the adoption of a proposed Wind Energy Conversion Systems ordinance by the Muscatine County Board of Supervisors at the board’s Monday morning.

Planning and Zoning Director Eric Furnas told the board that there are no ordinances currently in place for wind turbines in Muscatine County.

“West Liberty is working with a developer, I think they’re getting close to making a final decision,” Furnas said.

The ordinances would not be related to a specific location or specific turbines, but Furnas said the ordinance would ensure the protection of county roads and land from damage due to the installation of the large turbines.

Furnas said he will work with County Engineer Keith White to ensure they are satisfied with the language in the ordinances.

“Keith and I just want to be sure that we have protection for the county roads,” he said.

The turbines, which Furnas said may be used to supplement energy in West Liberty, are the first to be brought up to the county, which is why no such ordinance currently exists. This ordinance would be a precautionary measure for the county, should other requests like the turbines arise, according to Furnas.

“It gives us an advantage down the road as we start to become tighter on other types of development,” he said.

Lawrence McNaul, City Manager for West Liberty, said that the city, which is a municipal electric utility, chose to move forward with wind turbine use after a feasibility study was conducted.

“The idea here is the wind would provide us with a more cost-effective method, just shaving costs that we are typically paying out. If we can do it locally with the turbines, the idea is we’re purchasing it at a lower cost,” McNaul said.

In other business, the board approved:

The Combined Preliminary and Final Plat of Shady Acres Addition, containing approximately 33 acres and located in Fulton Township.
Variances granted by the Muscatine County Board of Adjustment on June 3, 2016.
Authorizing Community Services to fill one additional Case Manager position.
The Chair was authorized to sign a letter of support for the Muscatine Island Levee District’s request for assistance from the US Army Corps of Engineers on a project to raise the Muscatine levee system.
The Fiscal Year 2016/17 Salary Schedule, a two percent adjustment to 2015/16 schedule.
A revised Muscatine County Salary Administration Program dated June 13, 2016.
Supervisors Robert Howard and Scott Sauer were assigned to negotiate a Fiscal Year 2016/17 salary increase with the County Engineer.

Source:  Emily Wenger | June 13, 2016 | qctimes.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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