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County officials consider new wind farm ordinance

With the looming possibility of Wind Energy Conversion Properties (wind farms) in Fremont County, officials are thinking ahead and taking action. Fremont County Assessor Karen Berry approached the Fremont County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 14 and proposed an ordinance be placed on the books pertaining to the assessment of wind farms. If the ordinance is passed, wind towers will be a local assessment when, and if, they come to Fremont County. "If we don't pass this ordinance and wind towers come in, they will be considered a utility and the state assesses utilities.

With the looming possibility of Wind Energy Conversion Properties (wind farms) in Fremont County, officials are thinking ahead and taking action.

Fremont County Assessor Karen Berry approached the Fremont County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 14 and proposed an ordinance be placed on the books pertaining to the assessment of wind farms.

If the ordinance is passed, wind towers will be a local assessment when, and if, they come to Fremont County.

"If we don't pass this ordinance and wind towers come in, they will be considered a utility and the state assesses utilities.

"If assessed as a state utility, tax dollars will go to the state and distributed where the state feels they are needed. If accessed locally, we keep the money here in the county. A part of it goes to the county and a larger part of it goes to the school district where the towers are located," Berry explained.

Iberdrola Renewable Energies USA Ltd., a Delaware Corp. is beginning a 72-turbine wind farm in Atchison County, Mo., near Farmers City, to the Iowa state line. The company has previously said they plan to extend the wind farms into Fremont County.

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With the looming possibility of Wind Energy Conversion Properties (wind farms) in Fremont County, officials are thinking ahead and taking action.

Fremont County Assessor Karen Berry approached the Fremont County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 14 and proposed an ordinance be placed on the books pertaining to the assessment of wind farms.

If the ordinance is passed, wind towers will be a local assessment when, and if, they come to Fremont County.

"If we don't pass this ordinance and wind towers come in, they will be considered a utility and the state assesses utilities.

"If assessed as a state utility, tax dollars will go to the state and distributed where the state feels they are needed. If accessed locally, we keep the money here in the county. A part of it goes to the county and a larger part of it goes to the school district where the towers are located," Berry explained.

Iberdrola Renewable Energies USA Ltd., a Delaware Corp. is beginning a 72-turbine wind farm in Atchison County, Mo., near Farmers City, to the Iowa state line. The company has previously said they plan to extend the wind farms into Fremont County.

According to Berry, a building permit for a test-tower in southeast Fremont County has already been issued and landowners in Fremont County are in the process of being contacted about leasing their land.

"The company itself has not contacted me about wind farms, we're just thinking ahead." said Berry.

Berry explained things are assessed beginning Jan. 1 of the new year, therefore the ordinance has to be a county ordinance before then.

"It's in case by some slim chance someone would want to put up a tower next year, we'd already have the ordinance in place," said Berry.

The Fremont County Board of Supervisors will hold three hearings on the proposed ordinance at 10 a.m. Sept. 9; 10 a.m. Sept. 11 and a vote on the ordinance at 10 a.m. on Sept. 16.

"At this point all I can do is keep my fingers crossed and hope these test towers pan out," said Berry. "This would be great for Fremont County."


Source: http://www.southwestiowanew...

SEP 2 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/16884-county-officials-consider-new-wind-farm-ordinance
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