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Boone County Commission candidate Q&A: Wind farm

Both associate Boone County commissioners face opponents in the Nov. 3 general election.

Republican Tristan Asbury is challenging Northern District Commissioner Janet Thompson, a Democrat seeking her third four-year term. Meanwhile, Democrat Justin Aldred is challenging Southern District Commissioner Fred Parry, a Republican running for a second term.

In an effort to help voters make an informed decision, the Missourian sent each candidate a questionnaire asking for his or her thoughts on seven issues relevant to county government. A question will be published every day for seven days.

Here are their answers to the following question:

What are your thoughts on the wind farm that has been proposed for northwestern Boone County, and what do you believe are the best approaches for regulating wind farms?

Northern District

Janet Thompson: While I believe that, as a country, we should strive to find ways to better protect our environment and lessen our dependence on resources that both degrade the environment and leave us at the mercy of other countries and large multi-national corporations, I question whether wind energy is the best alternative for Boone County. I support the work of the Planning & Zoning Commission, which is crafting regulations that balance the interests of adjacent landowners, impact on infrastructure, impact on the environment and the ability of landowners to develop and utilize their land.

Tristan Asbury: I am working as quickly as possible to understand how a project of this nature not only affects our citizens but the future of Boone County. Questions remain regarding the actual benefit and viability of wind energy in this area, the impact this proposed project will have on our road/infrastructure system due to extremely heavy equipment being operated to construct such apparatuses and safety related to the density of our civilian population.

While waiting on the release of the Boone County Planning & Zoning Commission’s proposed rules and regulations, which will ultimately guide the direction of this project, I will continue to thoroughly analyze this project in an effort to better understand the advantages and disadvantages to all parties involved.

Southern District

Fred Parry: I don’t believe that the wind energy project in northwestern Boone County will prove to be a viable venture due to the scale necessary to make it work. While I support adding alternative sources of energy to our local power system, there are more appropriate places for a wind turbine farm than the site proposed in northwestern Boone County.

Justin Aldred: I am open to such a facility, just as I would be to any other infrastructure or development being constructed within Boone County. The balance for regulating such a facility lies with the will of the community. If the community would like to implement this type of facility, all stakeholders’ positions would need to be considered extensively. It is extremely important that the Boone County Commission consider zoning regulations, safety ordinances and the overall environmental impact of such a facility on the surrounding community.