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Progress being made on Bonneville windmill ordinance

[A windmill] ordinance was one of the main topics of conversation at a Bonneville County Planning & Zoning meeting held at the Bonneville County Courthouse Wednesday night. Despite meeting until after midnight, nothing was decided upon. "The process of getting the government to go through and create and ordinance and draft an ordinance takes time. They don't like to just create an ordinance in five minutes and send it out," said Steven Serr of the Bonneville County Planning and Zoning Commission.

Placing a windmill in your backyard could be a good way to save money. However, if you live in Bonneville County, there is a complicated process you have to go through.

All of the hassle could be changed, however, if a windmill ordinance is adopted. Such an ordinance was one of the main topics of conversation at a Bonneville County Planning & Zoning meeting held at the Bonneville County Courthouse Wednesday night. Despite meeting until after midnight, nothing was decided upon.

"The process of getting the government to go through and create and ordinance and draft an ordinance takes time. They don't like to just create an ordinance in five minutes and send it out," said Steven Serr of the Bonneville County Planning and Zoning Commission.

According to Serr, a lot of questions still need to be answered before an ordinance can be adopted.

"Where should they be placed? What would be safe in terms of putting them in closer residential zones? These are just some of the things to consider," said Serr.

Even with an ordinance, would a windmill in someone's yard really save that much money?

Last month, Shirley Thompson and her husband bought a windmill for their property in Bingham... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Placing a windmill in your backyard could be a good way to save money. However, if you live in Bonneville County, there is a complicated process you have to go through.

All of the hassle could be changed, however, if a windmill ordinance is adopted. Such an ordinance was one of the main topics of conversation at a Bonneville County Planning & Zoning meeting held at the Bonneville County Courthouse Wednesday night. Despite meeting until after midnight, nothing was decided upon.

"The process of getting the government to go through and create and ordinance and draft an ordinance takes time. They don't like to just create an ordinance in five minutes and send it out," said Steven Serr of the Bonneville County Planning and Zoning Commission.

According to Serr, a lot of questions still need to be answered before an ordinance can be adopted.

"Where should they be placed? What would be safe in terms of putting them in closer residential zones? These are just some of the things to consider," said Serr.

Even with an ordinance, would a windmill in someone's yard really save that much money?

Last month, Shirley Thompson and her husband bought a windmill for their property in Bingham County.

"The meter goes backwards quickly when the wind is blowing and it's fun to watch it go because we know the power company is going to give us credits for that power," she said.

The Thompson's say they were willing to invest the hefty amount of money to purchase a windmill because of the way their property is situated. They have also done their homework in gauging wind speeds with an animometer atop a nearby hill.

"The wind blows through here at an average speed which should translate into enough energy to cut our bills down by at least one-fourth," said Thompson.

Not everyone in East Idaho is so lucky. Most of the Snake River Valley is considered to be a marginal region for wind in terms of justifying the cost of a personal windmill. Most of Bonneville County also falls into this category.

"I think buyers need to make sure it's going to pay off for them and not be just an expense," said Thompson.

Even though Bonneville County officials estimate it will be at least a few months before an ordinance is adopted, there are some who are happy the county is at least considering it.

"Bonneville County should be commended in their efforts to examine these possibilities," said Roger Orme, a Bonneville County resident interested in buying a windmill.

In fact, Bonneville County is helping pave the way for other counties to adopt similar ordinances. Thursday, officials with both Jefferson and Madison Counties inquired about Bonneville's draft of the ordinance. They are hoping to adopt ordinances of their own.

"I guess you can say we're blazing the trail," said Serr.


Source: http://www.localnews8.com/G...

OCT 23 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/17621-progress-being-made-on-bonneville-windmill-ordinance
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