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Third wind developer talks with Supervisors

August 8, 2017
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

The Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors were presented with utility permits for approval as well as having an informal discussion with a third wind developer who has taken a look at the County during their regular meeting that was held on Tuesday, August 1.

Chris Towell, Engineer Assistant in Palo Alto County presented the Supervisors the following three utility permits for approval: Iowa Lakes Regional Water for waterline in Walnut Township, Sections 25 & 26, Iowa Lakes Regional Water to replace and move water mains in Silver Lake Township, Sections 14 & 15 within the City of Ayrshire and to Windstream for the replacement of an overheard which will be buried under the road at the intersection of 350th Ave. and Highway 18.

"Shouldn't this fall under the state's jurisdiction not the County?" Supervisor Linus Solberg questioned.

Palo Alto County Engineer Walter Davis- Oeth was contacted by phone and asked why the permit was coming to the County Board of Supervisors instead of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Davis-Oeth responded by saying, "The DOT requires that the County approves the utility permit also."

All three permits received approval with Supervisors Craig Merrill and Supervisor Roger Faulstick absent.

The Board approved and signed all three utility permits.

Also approved was the final voucher for the replacement bridge on B55 near Rodman.

George Black, Project Developer with RPM Access Wind Development of De Soto.

"We have been doing some studies in Palo Alto County and we are coming to you to see if Palo Alto County has an appetite for wind energy," Black stated. "We are looking at the southeast area of Palo Alto County. Our company is in the process of developing smaller wind farms. We are looking at about 10 sections of land. This would be a 50 megawatt farm consisting of 25 turbines."

"We are trying to be cautious moving forward, sizing up what we have in place currently to see what we might have to change," Supervisor Linus Solberg. We are looking at a possible moratorium on any additional turbines for three months, six months or possibly even a year."

"Right now, I think we need to see how people are feeling when the current wind development is complete or even in one year," Solberg continued. "I just think we need to wait and see where the current project goes before we can say yes or no to another developer."



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