VALENTINE, Neb. In the ongoing debate about energy development in the Sandhills, protesters meet with leaders in valentine to discuss the future of the land.
Protesters say wind turbines could damage the ecosystem of the Sandhills, while those in favor of the project say it could bring economic development to the area.
But Wednesday landowners and community members were able to voice their opinions on installing wind turbines in Cherry County.
Earlier this afternoon protestors stood outside of the Valentine courthouse with signs trying to raise awareness and support for their cause against 30 wind turbines being constructed on people’s private property.
They site protecting the fragile Sandhills ecosystem as a main purpose for opposition but also individuals private property rights.
But people from both sides of the issue gathered at the public county commissioners hearing Wednesday night.
Cherry County cattle producer Michael Abbott said, “Economic development. Help lower taxes, hopefully. Bringing sustainability for every body in the county. And the people that don’t want it for environmental reasons intended tourism and so forth.”
This meeting at Valentine High School will lead to the commissioners’ decision whether or not to approve a conditional use permit for these private investors trying to bring windmills to the area.
Commissioners was the next step after meeting with the planning and zoning commission.
While many of these people are against the construction of the windmills, there are several who support them because of the tax credits and the $108 million that Cherry County Wind, LLC says will be added to the county’s tax base.
Community members are also concerned this process might deter future investors from coming to the Valentine area.
Commissioners will make their decision by December 19th.
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