June 23, 2022

Commissioners discuss Wind Energy Development Moratorium

By Adam Clay | Hiawatha World | www.hiawathaworldonline.com

The Brown County Commission met Monday morning and heard more information about the Wind Energy Development Moratorium from County Attorney Kevin Hill.

County Attorney Hill addressed the questions presented at the last meeting about the Wind Energy Development Moratorium. Hill stated that the $1,000 per day fine is fairly standard. Commissioner Pollock suggested raising the fine to create a larger deterrent to wind energy companies, to which Hill responded that the presented resolution is simply a draft, and that the commission is able to propose whatever policy they want.

There was some discussion of the maximum allowed fines for violations of resolutions, and $2,500 was discussed as a potential fine.

“The purpose of a resolution isn’t to use it because you are personally opposed to wind energy, it is to set up reasonable regulations,” Hill said.

Pollock also asked if it is possible to stop a company if they are willing to pay the fine, to which Hill responded that there are also injunctions that could be used. Commissioner Lehmkuhl suggested approving the $2,500 fine, and Pollock wanted the amount to be higher.

Later in the meeting, the commission went into an Executive Session, after which no binding action was taken, then heard from Commissioner Pollock, discussing the comprehensive plan process. Commissioner Lehmkuhl said that more information would be necessary before a decision was made.

The group agreed to keep the comprehensive plan on their radar in the coming weeks, given that it will affect the discussion on wind energy. Chairman Shoemaker shared his opinion that they need to agree to something and get it in effect. There was further talk of commercial versus private wind energy.

In other business:

Emergency Manager Don Pounds presented information on the SPARK funds audit, and Road and Bridge Secretary Tami Lehmkuhl discussed new programs for mapping bridges and culverts in the county.

After approving the minutes of the previous meeting and the payroll for June 15, the commission voted to approve a cereal malt beverage license for Casino White Cloud, as well as a property use agreement with the First Christian Church to use the Courthouse Square and restrooms on August 6, contingent upon janitor availability.

The group also discussed the Services for the Elderly, after a request was made to change the name. The commission stated that they would rather education more people about the services than change the name, at this time.

County Clerk Boyles informed the Commission that the second and final payment from the American Rescue Plan Act has been received in the amount of $928,847.50. The Commission then went over the presented budgets from different departments as they work toward creating the 2023 budget for Brown County.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2022/06/23/commissioners-discuss-wind-energy-development-moratorium/