SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. – To build or not to build? That’s the question being answered on Tuesday in the Shasta County Board of Supervisors Chambers regarding the Fountain Wind Project in the Round Mountain and Montgomery Creek area.
The appeal hearing started at 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, October 26.
The proposed project’s use permit was unanimously rejected by Planning Commissioners in June. Project Developer ConnectGEN of Houston, TX, appealed that decision, sending it to supervisors to either deny the use permit or approve the environmental impact report.
Between the planning commission’s decision and now, ConnectGEN reduced the number of wind turbines from 72 to 48, the size of the project area, and the size of the turbines from 679 feet to 610 feet.
ConnectGEN’s Henry Woltag also says there’s a long-term financial commitment.
“Over $50-million in property tax revenues over the life of the project. That’s over $23-million for Shasta County schools, $6-million for the county, and over $3-million for the City of Redding, Anderson, and Shasta Lake,” explained Woltag. “The tax revenues are substantial in the long-term and, at the end of the day, we’d like to meet a member of the community; active participant in the community to contribute to the long-term livelihood of the county as a whole.”
Those against the project say ConnectGEN is deceptive; that property values will suffer, fire risk will increase, birds will be killed, and Native American culture disrupted.
Ed Baier is a long-time vocal opponent.
“Shasta County is looking for tourism. You cannot put tourism and wind turbine farms in the same location. It doesn’t work; it never will,” argued Baier. “And, if that’s what you’re going for, fine, but they’re promising you money over the next 30 years and wind turbine lifespan is 20 to 25 years and then they need to be recycled. We are against this project. I do not appreciate them at all, and I wouldn’t trust them to sell me a used car.”
Officials said the hearing is expected to wrap up around 11 p.m. or earlier on Tuesday night. Check back to this article to see the Supervisors’ decision.
[NWW was informed this morning after the hearing that the Supervisors voted 4-1 against the developer’s appeal.]
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