County residents in opposition and those in favor of the proposed wind farms in Nemaha County filled the Commissioners Room of the Nemaha County Courthouse on Tuesday, Feb. 19, hoping to receive a term sheet. The Nemaha County Commissioners’ wind farm attorney, James Neeld, also was present to give an update and answer questions for those present.
According to Neeld, they are close to having a full term sheet available for review but are still negotiating on two issues.
“The two issues we are down to are money and setbacks,” he said. “The money is what taxing scheme will be imposed on the project, whether that be by virtue of a regular taxing scheme or a payment. Those are obviously the two biggest issues.”
Although Neeld and the commissioners cannot disclose any of the terms that they are negotiating, patrons present asked about setbacks from structures and property lines, noise levels, the complaint process and exclusion zones.
Neeld said in regard to noise concerns, that they do have an item in the term sheet regarding noise level at the structure.
“What we have asked NextEra to do is to go out to the public and hold public gatherings, where they talk about some of the concerns that people have raised such as noise and infrasound,” he said. “What they are going to tell you is the decibel level that we have agreed to is really equal to an appliance running in your house. If they exceed that level, then we have created a process where you can make a complaint.”
Neeld did confirm that they agreed on a set decibel level, instead of a decibel level that varies throughout the day.
In regard to setbacks from towns, Neeld said that setbacks from towns were considered exclusion areas, and they were consistent for each incorporated town and one unincorporated town.
Neeld, as well as NextEra Energy attorneys, remained at the Nemaha County Courthouse after the meeting to continue negotiating the final two terms.
Neeld said he hopes to have a term sheet available soon.
The next regular meeting will be held next Monday, Feb. 25.