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Bronson Twp. will consider a turbine moratorium

BRONSON TOWNSHIP – Bronson Township Supervisor Ken Carpenter said, of the threat of wind turbines coming to the township, “if we are going to be driven to zoning, I think this is the one item that will drive us to that.”

Carpenter asked the township board to consider a moratorium on wind turbines when it meets to approve its budget this month.

“There is not much we can do at this time because we are not zoned. The only thing we can do is pass a moratorium on wind turbines,” Carpenter told his board.

The supervisor attended a meeting in the township meeting room in January with Kevon Martis who, as a Riga township zoning official in Lenawee County, shared his experiences in previous zoning controversies over wind turbines.

He asked the other township board members “to do your due diligence to make sure we protect out residents. The only way to do that is to make sure we have the right ordinances in place.”

The township so far has resisted zoning.

Carpenter said the township is not in a great area for wind, compared to the areas further to the west.

The township will consider the issue when it meets to pass its budge for 2018-19. The trustees will consider a budget of $225,700 for the coming year, which is $23,475 less than revenues. Revenues are $202,225. This deficit will come from the $250,000 it holds in reserves as a contingency.

“I don’t see where we can cut anything” trustee John Wielgos said.

Trustee Richard Losinski agreed.

“There is no money for roads this year,” Carpenter said.

This is because the township will pay around $67,700 for its share of a new fire truck for the Bronson area Fire Association.

Former road Commission Manager Losinski said, “We are going to have to do something with roads next year or we are really going to get behind.”

The final amount owed for the fire truck will not come until all the members of the association complete Boards of Review and assessments for each township, and Bronson are complete, so each share can be determined from the final tax rolls based on property values.

The current quote to replace the 20-year-old fire truck is $320,670, with a pre-payment discount of $9,370. It will take a year for construction with delivery in 2019 but members agreed to pay up front for the savings.

Carpenter said, “Half our expenses are the fire department.”

The meeting to pass the budget will take place at 5 p.m., March 21.