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OUR VIEW: Commission should stick to decision date

The Davison County Commission made the right call Tuesday to delay its decision on a proposed wind farm that would be built 10 miles west of Mitchell.

The Davison County Commission made the right call Tuesday to delay its decision on a proposed wind farm that would be built 10 miles west of Mitchell.

The commissioners saw a large gathering of residents at their weekly meeting, which drew significant interest from those who would be affected by the wind farm.

The project is a proposed nine- to 11-turbine wind farm in Beulah Township that would occupy a 3-mile by 1-mile stretch of Brad and Peggy Greenway's land. The commissioners decided to delay the project so residents could educate themselves on the impact of a wind farm near their property.

We've heard the cries from homeowners who live near already-built wind farms, and we realize there are concerns with this project from people who reside by the proposed farm. We believe concerns are valid, but we also agree that a landowner has a right to do what they wish on their own property, provided it meets legal guidelines.

Davison County has one ordinance currently in effect on wind farms, which states a turbine built on one landowner's property must be placed where it could not fall onto adjacent properties. But Jeff Bathke, also of the Planning and Zoning office, said the county is working on an ordinance to establish a 1,000-foot setback.

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That there are unknowns and possible ordinance changes proves Tuesday was too soon to make a decision on this project. But the County Commission told those who attended this week's meeting that a decision would be made in February.

We hope they stick to that plan.

By then, citizens and neighbors of the proposed project should have ample time to educate themselves on wind farms. Those people then should be able to voice their concerns during citizens' input at each week's regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting.

What could happen, is this wind farm project could become a can that continually gets kicked down the road and nothing is ever decided. The commissioners need to seriously consider the facts of what a wind farm could do for the county-both benefits and detriments-and make a once-and-for-all decision.

Why is this important?

The county's residents should not have to wait a long time on a decision of this significance. This is a major project, costing roughly $40 million, and would change the landscape of Davison County.

People who would live near the proposed site will need to make adjustments, if approved.

And, if it's denied, the Greenway family will be able to move forward rather than getting strung along.

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The commissioners set a great timeline for February to make their decision. But we urge them to stick to their timeline and stand by their decision.

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