Just one day after a planning commission voted to recommend to deny a wind farm in southeastern Reno County, county commissioners’ work is now piling up.
“There were 27 notebooks put together. They range as small as this to as big as this,” says County Commissioner, Ron Hirst.
Tuesday night, the planning commission recommended to deny the permit to build the wind farm. The vote came after several public hearings and protests. Now, it’s up to the three commissioners to decide whether to allow the project.
“We’ll take into consideration the recommendation to deny the CUP as you would call it,” says Hirst.
Florida based company, NextEra Energy Resources wants to build more than 80 wind turbines.
“There’s money and people and so forth, and really we just want to look at the facts and what the advantage is, not only for the area in Reno County, but for all of Reno County,” says Hirst.
The earliest commissioners could meet to vote is in about three weeks. They have three options. Overriding the planning commissions recommendation, which would allow the wind farm to proceed, denying the project, or making new recommendations to give back to the planning commission.
Tuesday’s vote was a small victory for those against the wind farm, but they still worry about the final say.
“The commissioners, the majority of them come from the northern part of the county, so they’re not down there in that part of the county. I don’t think they understand and are sympathetic with the property values being lost,” says one resident.
Another says, “You can kind of read them and tell exactly what they’re gonna do even though they’re supposed to remain unbiased and judge based solely on the information on the information that’s provided.”
In a statement given to KAKE News, NextEra Energy Resources said in part, “We recognize that the county commissioners have the ultimate decision and we look forward to their review. Our project has the potential to deliver tremendous benefits to the entire community.”
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