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Eitzen, wind farm call truce

Expedition Wind and Peabody farmer Randall Eitzen have called a truce in a legal battle that has cost the county $20,981.94 in legal bills over a year and a half.

County clerk Tina Spencer said additional bills are expected as a result of the legal battle over development of a wind farm in the county.

Although the county has granted all conditional use permits needed by Expedition, building permits have not yet been issued.

On Friday, both Eitzen and the wind farm company dismissed claims against each other.

Since May 2019, Eitzen has filed three suits to fight construction of the wind farm. Two have been dismissed, leaving a suit filed in August 2019 by Eitzen and 72 other plaintiffs still ongoing. Most plaintiffs withdrew from that lawsuit, leaving five plaintiffs still active now that Eitzen has dismissed his claims against Expedition.

In April, Expedition and six other plaintiffs filed suit against Eitzen and five other defendants seeking $35 million for abuse of legal process because the repetitive lawsuits caused Expedition to lose sales of project production tax credits.

Expedition dismissed its claims against Eitzen Friday.

In July, a judge dismissed Expedition’s claims against the other five defendants, leaving only Eitzen, but the five defendants still seek reimbursement for their legal costs.

No decision has been made as to whether they will be awarded reimbursement.

“This dismissal is a positive step for the project and we’re looking forward to ultimately putting the legal issues behind us,” Expedition spokesman Lindsey Ransom said.