Board approves conditional use permits for electrical ties

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[November 17, 2016]  LINCOLN - On Tuesday, November 15, 2016, the Logan County Board held its Regular meeting, which is a voting session to decide matters. One focus of brief discussion was two conditional use permits for electrical projects supporting the Sugar Creek Wind Farm.

Representing the wind farm project were Stan Komperda of American Wind Energy, Dave Wagner of Apex Clean Energy, and Kyle Barry, attorney for the project.

Barry said the conditional use permits were for a Gen-tie line, which is the cord that will tie into the electric grid at Ameren's Fogarty Switchyard and an underground collection line that will connect one side of the project to the other.

Barry reminded the board that both the Regional Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously to recommend approval of both resolutions. He asked the board to also approve both resolutions and said he could answer any questions they might have. Barry thanked the board for its hard work on the applications.

In comments from the public, Donna Bishop of Atlanta said "more information is coming out daily against wind farms." She asked the board to do further research before making a decision by watching a video called "Climate Hustle" and look at a website speaking against wind farms.

Bishop said these projects are "subsidized" and with our country several trillion dollars in debt, the wind farms just add to the national debt. She said wind farms destroy farmlands, the environment, and people's health, and devalues property. Bishop said the board does not have to go along with the changes.

Board member Gene Rohlfs said these changes were not part of the original approval in 2011, but asked the wind farm representatives if these were the only resolutions for the hook ups.

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Barry said these are new applications, but part of the plans for the project.

Board Chairman David Hepler said these lines were "contemplated and specified" in what the board approved in 2011.

Barry said the original application said the applicant would return later for approval of the gen tie line to connect the projects.

Rohlfs said that while he sees wind farms as "the embodiment of everything that is wrong with this country," the project was approved by the county board. He said, "to my knowledge, anyone's concerns with these resolutions have been worked out to the board's satisfaction."

After the discussion, the board unanimously approved board member Pat O'Neill's motions for conditional use permits for the gen tie line and the underground collection line.

[Angela Reiners]

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