MADISON – The wind will be studied in the central part of Madison County for up to five years to determine its suitability for a possible wind farm.
Following a pair of public hearings, the Madison County board of commissioners approved two conditional-use permit applications Tuesday sought by Emerick Wind of Chicago to install temporary wind towers. Both are for data collection only.
One is for a temporary meteorological tower on land that will be 1,190 feet south of 834th Road and 2,148 feet east of 543rd Avenue, which is south and west of Battle Creek.
The tower is proposed to be up to 198 feet tall and is more than a half-mile away from the nearest dwelling. It doesn’t require a light.
The second temporary tower will be on land 1,750 feet east of 540th Avenue and 1,740 feet north of 834th Road. It will be up to 265 feet tall and will include a light at night to alert pilots, as required by the FAA.
The nearest occupied residence will be more than one-third of a mile away. Towers more than 200 feet tall are required to be lighted. The two towers will be about 3 miles apart.
Heather McWhorter, the county’s zoning administrator, said both conditional-use permits are basically similar to other towers that have been installed to measure wind in the county.
Lucas Buseck of Chicago, a development associate of Lincoln Clean Energy, said the towers would be secured by sets of guy wires. Both are expected to take up about 1 acre, no more than 1.5 acres apiece.
Farming will be able to be continued around the tower sites, he said.
Unlike the public hearings before the Madison County Joint Planning Commission last month, there were no questions from area residents at Tuesday’s meeting.
The only questions came from a radio station general manager, who said he wants to make sure that any wind turbines don’t affect radio transmission towers that station has.
The general manager said he isn’t concerned about these met towers, but any possible wind farm later that could impact sight lines from the station and its radio station tower.
McWhorter said if down the road the company decides to erect a wind farm, it will have to coordinate to make sure there is no interference with existing towers or communications equipment.
Each conditional-use permit was approved 3-0.
The Madison County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday morning at the Madison County Courthouse.
Members present: Chairman Ron Schmidt, Troy Uhlir and Christian Ohl.
Others in attendance: Anne Pruss, county clerk; Richard Johnson, county highway superintendent; Todd Volk, Madison County sheriff; 10 from the public and two reporters.
Meeting lasted: Four hours, four minutes.
— Met as a board of equalization and approved tax exemptions and corrections.
— Approved online banking access with Frontier Bank for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
— Acknowledged receipt of the loan agreement with Elkhorn Valley Bank and Behavioral Health Specialists.
— Acknowledged receipt of the continuation certificate for the official bond of Therese Wachter as treasurer of Norfolk Airport Authority, Brad Wiebe as chairman for Sanitary Improvement District 3, Stacey English as vice chairwoman for Sanitary Improvement District 3, Duane Wessel as chairman for Sanitary Improvement District 10, Kirk Morgan as clerk for Sanitary Improvement District 10 and Michael Johnson as president for Sanitary Improvement District 13.
— Authorized the county board chairman to execute the 2020 Community Based Juvenile Services Aid Grant, and 2020 Memorandums of Understanding between Madison County and Boone, Burt, Cuming, Knox, Pierce, Stanton and Wayne counties.
— Approved the certifications of completion of emergency flood repairs and compliance with Federal Highway Administration requirements for two projects with the Northeast Industrial Highway.
— Received the annual report of the county Extension office.
— Heard an update on Nebraska Regional Interoperability Network and the communications map.
— Got an updated report on right-of-way acquisition on 841st Road between Sections 30 and 31, with land to be acquired for a turn-around.
— Toured and inspected the county jail.
— Reviewed written reports and processed claims.
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