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Windfarm opponents present petition

It’s a proposal that has generated concerns among many residents across a wide swath of Freeborn County.

The latest chapter of the story was written on Tuesday morning.

“I’m here to present a petition” Shell Rock Township resident Dorenne Hansen told members of the Freeborn county board.

“The petition was presented for the association of Freeborn county landowners with 469 signatures” added Shell Rock Township resident Stephanie Richter.

The petition put those land-owners on-record as being against the Freeborn wind-energy project … a proposed 100 turbine wind farm that straddles the Minnesota / Iowa state line.

“80 percent of the people that live in the area that are opposed to the project as-is,” Dorenne Hansen said.

“My concerns are health issues,” Stephanie Richter said.

“We have problems with excess flicker” Dorenne Hansen added.

“Marketability of my property” Stephanie Richter said, adding another concern.

The petition didn’t ask the Freeborn county board to take specific action, but the landowners’ group *could* ask for a letter of support in the future.

“Some issues that could be addressed in a letter of support in the future include the continued support of the board to have a 15-hundred foot setback to be consistent with the minimum setback in Iowa,” Dorenne Hansen said, addressing the board.

No one from the project’s developer spoke at Tuesday’s meeting … but the set-back concerns *were* addressed during a meeting in May.

“We are exceeding the minimum, but it’s a tight layout, there’s not much flexibility to move things around, so any increase in setback will remove turbines from the project,” Invenergy’s Dan Litchfield told Freeborn county commissioners during the meeting May second.

Because of the size of the project, the decision on whether to issue a permit falls to the Minnesota public utilities commission. *If* a permit is issued, it probably wouldn’t happen until at least next June.

We also want to point out as part of this story that ABC 6 News has filed comments with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in regards to the Freeborn County windfarm… seeking to ensure the proposed project does not cause interference with our broadcast signals.