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Washoe planners OK wind farm

With the backing of construction workers and with future neighbors opposed, the Washoe County Planning Commission voted 7-0 Wednesday night to allow a 44-turbine wind farm north of Sparks. About 200 workers, many wearing green T-shirts saying "Vote Green Jobs," urged to approval ...Neighbors worried about noise, dirt from construction, changes of scenic views and other issues they fear would change their rural lifestyle.

With the backing of construction workers and with future neighbors opposed, the Washoe County Planning Commission voted 7-0 Wednesday night to allow a 44-turbine wind farm north of Sparks.

About 200 workers, many wearing green T-shirts saying "Vote Green Jobs," urged to approval for the $190 million power generating farm on the ridges of the Pah Rah Range east of Warm Springs Valley.

Advocates touted the jobs created by the project by Nevada Wind.

Neighbors worried about noise, dirt from construction, changes of scenic views and other issues they fear would change their rural lifestyle.

The project is expected to produce $1 million a year in local government taxes and provide an initial economic boost of $7 million in sales and other taxes during the first year of construction.

At least 45 people in the standing room crowd registered to testify.

"It means jobs for me," David Cogley, a laid off Reno crane operator, said in an interview. "It is right up my alley."

"I think it's about time we get with the times," he said. "It's new technology and something that will benefit us for years to come."

A 16-year resident of the area, Larry Johnson is a member of the Save Our Valley group... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

With the backing of construction workers and with future neighbors opposed, the Washoe County Planning Commission voted 7-0 Wednesday night to allow a 44-turbine wind farm north of Sparks.

About 200 workers, many wearing green T-shirts saying "Vote Green Jobs," urged to approval for the $190 million power generating farm on the ridges of the Pah Rah Range east of Warm Springs Valley.

Advocates touted the jobs created by the project by Nevada Wind.

Neighbors worried about noise, dirt from construction, changes of scenic views and other issues they fear would change their rural lifestyle.

The project is expected to produce $1 million a year in local government taxes and provide an initial economic boost of $7 million in sales and other taxes during the first year of construction.

At least 45 people in the standing room crowd registered to testify.

"It means jobs for me," David Cogley, a laid off Reno crane operator, said in an interview. "It is right up my alley."

"I think it's about time we get with the times," he said. "It's new technology and something that will benefit us for years to come."

A 16-year resident of the area, Larry Johnson is a member of the Save Our Valley group of residents. He said it is inaccurate to say that Save Our Valley is against the project.

"We want our roads protected, we want our visual impacts and noise mitigated," he said. "This isn't rosy for everybody. They are altering our way of life forever."

"We need to make sure residents are protected, roads maintained and this is done right," Johnson said.

He said he is in favor of property rights and alternative energy.

"My main (concern) is that the extreme level of truck traffic will essentially destroy our dirt roads," Johnson said.

The project, if built in 2010 as proposed, is expected to be the first in Nevada and entirely on private easements. Warm Springs is north of Sparks, dotted with homes on lots of 40 acres or more.


Source: http://www.rgj.com/article/...

FEB 5 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18912-washoe-planners-ok-wind-farm
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