ROGERS CITY – The Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners will seek legal counsel before they consider a petition to force a wind turbine ordinance to a public vote.
County Clerk Ann Marie Main notified commissioners she certified enough signatures had been collected for the board to consider the petition. However, commissioners did not discuss the petition publicly during its meeting Wednesday night. The county board of commissioners will determine the wording and date of the election at which voters will consider the ordinance.
Board Chairman Carl Altman said that, if the petition isn’t addressed at its next meeting on Dec. 28, the discussion may head into next year. He said two new board members will join the board in January.
“We have to get some counsel with how to proceed with this,” he said.
Moltke Township residents Mike and Stefani Schulte circulated the petition at the suggestion of legal counsel after the commissioners amended the county’s ordinance related to the installation of wind turbines. Ordinance 2 was updated to include definitions about turbines, setbacks, noise levels and a variety of other issues.
Signatures from 15 percent of registered voters who reside in townships that fall under county zoning – 356 signatures in this case – were needed for the petition to move forward. Presque Isle County residents who live in cities or townships with their own wind turbine ordinances were not eligible to sign the petition. The county clerks office was able to certify 383 of the 432 signatures that were collected.
While the Schultes and other Moltke Township residents attended the meeting, they did not publicly address the board. Stefani Schulte said they may address the commissioners at future board meeting.
At least one representative of Sstar Ridge Run Energy, the company that has proposed wind turbines for Presque Isle County, attended the meeting but did not address the board and declined to comment to The News.
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