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Ferris Twp. Board considers creating wind, solar rules  

In answer to the question, “Are you in favor of or opposed to wind energy in Ferris Township?” 64% of respondents (105 people) were against, while 35% of respondents (58 people) were in favor (1%, or one person, was defined as “other”).

Credit:  By Elisabeth Waldon | Daily News | April 04, 2022 | www.thedailynews.cc ~~

FERRIS TOWNSHIP – A wind energy/solar energy survey sent out to township residents last winter and given an extended window to respond resulted in more input, but the same overall result: Yes to solar projects, no to wind projects.

The Ferris Township Board discussed the updated results of the survey and the possibility of creating related ordinances during their March 29 meeting. A Daily News reporter and Janice Jourdan (the retired township treasurer) were the only members of the public present at the meeting.

The township board sent out 689 surveys in early December and received 116 responses by January (17%). The township board extended the deadline to respond, which resulted in another 48 people responding for an overall 24% response rate (a total of 164 people) by the time of March’s township board meeting. While 24% is better than the previous 17%, the results mean the majority of the township did not respond at all (76%, or 525 people).

In answer to the question, “Are you in favor of or opposed to solar energy in Ferris Township?” 57% of respondents (93 people) were in favor of solar, while 39% of respondents (65 people) were against (4%, or six people, were defined as “other”).

In answer to the question, “Are you in favor of or opposed to wind energy in Ferris Township?” 64% of respondents (105 people) were against, while 35% of respondents (58 people) were in favor (1%, or one person, was defined as “other”).

“It seems to indicate that people don’t want wind, but solar is fine,” Treasurer Jody Waldron summarized.

“It gives us a good idea of what the residents want or don’t want,” Supervisor Randy Stearns agreed. “After looking at some of the neighboring townships, everybody I’ve talked to, they pretty much said the same thing as what the survey showed.”

“We just wanted to take the temperature of the community and see where they’re at,” Trustee Dan Calverley added. “I think it’s a good indicator.”

Township officials said they haven’t been approached by any wind or solar developers or heard of any residents being approached.

“I would suggest that perhaps they haven’t contacted us because we have no zoning,” Calverley pointed out. “They’re (wind and solar) unregulated in our township so no, I don’t think they are going to approach us. I would suggest that we may want to come up with an ordinance.”

Stearns suggested they look at some ordinances from other townships as a starting point, such as Evergreen Township, which also doesn’t have zoning but created its own wind and solar ordinances last November.

“If it’s too restrictive. I think you could get sued,” Calverley noted. “I think we have to play the middle of the road.”

The Ferris Township Board is next scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. on July 12 (the small township board only meets quarterly).

In Other Matters …

Also during their March 29 meeting, the Ferris Township Board:

• Voted to approve the 2022-2023 budget and the amended 2021-2022 budget.

• Voted to approve previous meeting minutes, including a special Feb. 12 meeting via Zoom at which the township board voted to purchase a security system for the township hall from Statewide Security Systems at a cost of $2,752.

• Voted to set meeting dates for the coming year as follows: July 12, Oct. 11, Jan. 10 and March 28 (all meetings to start at 6:30 p.m.).

• Voted to approve $44,905 worth of four road contracts with the Road Commission for Montcalm County as follows: gravel resurface Briggs Road from Douglass Road to East County Line Road ($17,388), two applications of chloride on local roads at a rate of 1,000 gallons per mile ($13,982), one application of chloride on local roads at a rate of 1,650 gallons per mile for $11,535 and spray brush along local roadsides ($2,000).

• Voted to continue using Trent Hilding of Vestaburg as the township’s attorney.

Source:  By Elisabeth Waldon | Daily News | April 04, 2022 | www.thedailynews.cc

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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