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Page County board sets meeting for wind farm discussion, possible vote 

Credit:  Ethan Hewett | KMA | Jun 21, 2022 | www.kmaland.com ~~

(Clarinda) – Page County officials could decide on a proposed wind farm project south of Shenandoah by the end of the month.

Meeting in regular session Tuesday morning, the Page County Board of Supervisors by a 2-1 vote, approved to hold a special meeting on Thursday, June 30 at 2 p.m. to discuss and vote on Invenergy’s proposed “Shenandoah Hills” wind project. Supervisor Jacob Holmes, who cast the lone dissenting vote, says he believes the meeting should be strictly informational with no decision being made on the project.

“What if we learn something there that we need to think about, I do not think we should vote at that meeting,” said Holmes. “I think it should be a big informational meeting with us and people making their case, and then we take that information and study whatever we might figure out and set a time to vote on it. I think that makes sense and is reasonable. Almost all meetings are in the evenings – school boards and all of the city councils – it’s not unusual.”

After an initial motion was made to include the 2 p.m. start time, Holmes also took issue with the meeting not being in the evening, which he says would allow more residents to attend.

During the meeting’s public comment period, Mike Blazer who serves as legal counsel for Invenergy, read a letter from the company’s attorney on his concerns of recent accusations and interactions at the county’s supervisors meetings, addressed to County Attorney Carl Sonksen. On top of what Blazer says has been hateful commentary and bullying from some individuals, he says specifically, accusations of searching personal records have caused concern.

“But the treatment of the supervisors in and around the last meeting was truly unconscionable,” said Blazer. “Open threats were made to sue the supervisors individually and engage in frivolous witch hunts to request not only supervisor’s official communications, but the speaker also said they would go after supervisor’s private communications, his wife’s private communications, and the private communication’s of his kids.”

While saying having several public meetings discussing the topic is good, Blazer says the productivity and decorum of the meetings has dwindled.

“Wind energy in general and the Shenandoah Hills wind application have been on the supervisor’s agenda nearly every week for months now – there have been ample opportunity for objectors and supporters to be heard,” said Blazer. “Sadly, the extended and extensive consideration that the supervisors have likely given this application, has now devolved into incivility and outright threatening behavior. Particularly in light of recent events around the country, such verbal abuse and threats of physical harm, can not be ignored.”

During a discussion with Page County Horizons, Supervisors Chair Alan Armstrong cleared up that even though the boundary listed in the application is larger than the area of proposed turbines, no expansion would be allowed without board approval.

“They’ll have to do everything like they’re doing it this time, they’ll have to go through and start a study, get everything planned out, and any new items would then come back in front of the standing board of supervisors at that time,” said Armstrong. “Whenever that date is whether it’s a year, 10 years, or 100 years, there is nothing that can be done inside that boundary area, except for the proposed wind towers that are on that plan.”

While the current proposal, should it be approved would be in accordance with the current wind ordinance, Blazer says any new turbines or projects would be subject to any potential changes.

Source:  Ethan Hewett | KMA | Jun 21, 2022 | www.kmaland.com

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 educational 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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