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Neosho Ridge concerns persist

ERIE – Neosho County Commissioners David Orr and Paul Westhoff listened to about an hour of comments from the public Thursday evening relating to Apex Clean Energy’s Neosho Ridge Wind farm project.

Commissioner David Bideau of Chanute resigned in a letter to County Clerk Randal Neely this week. Neely read the resignation letter at the start of the public comment session.

Denise Houghton spoke first and voiced concerns. She said she and her husband stopped by the Apex office in Erie to look at maps and ask questions and were told they had to submit a formal request to commissioners to get questions answered.

Apex site manager and chief electrical inspector James Stovall clarified. He said he told Houghton if residents ask commissioners for information, Apex expects commissioners to ask them for the information, not residents.

“You guys have not asked us for any information, basically,” Stovall told commissioners, noting it is only proper for Apex to conduct business with the county, not non-leasing residents.

Houghton asked commissioners who would take care, or indemnify, non-leasing landowners if there is any kind of property damage or fire from the 139 industrial wind turbines proposed in the wind farm, because their homeowners’ policies do not cover that.