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Wind farm control bill filed

The Gillespie County Commissioners' Court will be given the power to restrict wind farm construction if legislation filed Monday by State Senator Troy Fraser makes it through the Texas Legislature. "I think we have a good chance of getting it through my committee and through the senate," Fraser said. "It is very clear that the county judge and commissioners are asking for this authority."

The Gillespie County Commissioners' Court will be given the power to restrict wind farm construction if legislation filed Monday by State Senator Troy Fraser makes it through the Texas Legislature.

"I think we have a good chance of getting it through my committee and through the senate," Fraser said. "It is very clear that the county judge and commissioners are asking for this authority."

If passed, Senate Bill 1226 would only apply to Gillespie County and would allow the local commissioners court to restrict location of wind energy facilities in all or part of the county.

County Judge Mark Stroeher said he had spoken with Fraser's office about wind farms over the past year. Both the county commissioners court and the Fredericksburg City Council have passed resolutions opposing local wind farm construction.

Stroeher said that he was aware of two companies in the past who have contacted local landowners about the possibility of building a wind farm. He also said he had heard that a third company might be interested in local wind farm construction.

"We've continued to express our concerns with what would happen if a wind farm were put in Gillespie County," Stroeher said.

According... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The Gillespie County Commissioners' Court will be given the power to restrict wind farm construction if legislation filed Monday by State Senator Troy Fraser makes it through the Texas Legislature.

"I think we have a good chance of getting it through my committee and through the senate," Fraser said. "It is very clear that the county judge and commissioners are asking for this authority."

If passed, Senate Bill 1226 would only apply to Gillespie County and would allow the local commissioners court to restrict location of wind energy facilities in all or part of the county.

County Judge Mark Stroeher said he had spoken with Fraser's office about wind farms over the past year. Both the county commissioners court and the Fredericksburg City Council have passed resolutions opposing local wind farm construction.

Stroeher said that he was aware of two companies in the past who have contacted local landowners about the possibility of building a wind farm. He also said he had heard that a third company might be interested in local wind farm construction.

"We've continued to express our concerns with what would happen if a wind farm were put in Gillespie County," Stroeher said.

According to Stroeher, construction of local wind farms could negatively impact property values across the county.

Additionally, he said he has seen no indication that a wind farm would necessarily be suited to Gillespie County which does not produce a high volume of wind.

Robert Weatherford, president of the locally based Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment said he is pleased with the new legislation.

"We believe the legislation will provide the local authority to protect the natural beauty of our area," Weatherford said.

The SOSHE group has opposed wind farm construction in Gillespie County and continues to oppose private power line construction through the Hill Country.

Fraser said the bill, which deals with wind farms but does not address private power line construction, has been filed as a reaction to specific opposition to wind farms in Gillespie County.

Other counties in Fraser's district, including Kerr, Kimble and Llano Counties have not been included in SB 1226.



Source: http://fredericksburgstanda...

MAR 4 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19360-wind-farm-control-bill-filed
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