Clinton County Commissioners Scott Shoemaker, Bert Weaver and Cory Boyles held a public hearing at the Clinton County Fairgrounds 4-H Building to discuss the Clinton County Wind Farm ordinance for proposed wind farm projects in Clinton County.
The Public hearing attracted about 200 people. Commissioner President Scott Shoemaker opened the meeting with remarks including reasons for the meeting before the new year. Shoemaker explained that this current board of Commissioners had asked the area plan wind ordinance committee to make a few changes to the current ordinance. Shoemaker thought it was best for the current board, Cory Boyles, Bert Weaver, and Scott Shoemaker to meet and discuss the recommended ordinance changes.
Public participation was opened to the floor with the caveat that remarks be held under two minutes per person living in or owning property in Clinton County.
Several attendees wore red, expressing thier opinion against the Wind Farm ordinance as written in the proposed Area Plan Committee ordinance. A major theme of discussion and comments from the audience centered on balancing the needs of all Clinton County property owners who are to be affected by the proposed ordinance.
At earlier meeting in December Shoemaker said “We have options under the state law to approve it today, amend it today or reject it today. We’re going to use the 90-day clause in the statute that gives us 90 days to do something.”
At the previous Area Plan Wind Ordinance meeting, setbacks were approved at 1,520 feet from the foundation to base of tower and the maximum decibels were placed at 45. Tonight, the maximum decibels were reduced to 40 decibels to the house, school or library with a vote of 2-1. Boyles and Shoemaker voted for the reduction and Weaver voted against the reduction, reportedly because Weaver was seeking a further reduction in the decibel level.
(In a previous version of this report, Clinton County Daily News incorrectly indicated that Shoemaker voted against the noise level reduction).
President Shoemaker proposed an increased setback of 1760 feet and asked for setback to be from the property line instead of the foundation of the residence. Motion passed. Another issue was the infraction fine for damages, such as road damage was originally set at $1,000, it was voted tonight to increase to $5,000.
(In an earlier version of this report Clinton County Daily News indicated incorrectly that Shoemaker voted against the increased setback. Shoemaker not only made the motion to increase the setback, but his motion stated that the setback be from the property line instead of the foundation of home, school or library.)
There were a total of 11 (eleven) amendments made to the existing Area Plan Wind Ordinance committee verbiage.
These changes from Commissioners will now go back to the entire Area Plan Commission for review. The Area Plan Commission will have the option to accept or reject these changes within 45 days.
It is noted that two of the three commissioners, Weaver and Boyles, will not serve as Commissioners past the end of the year. Steve Woods and Josh Uitts will replace Weaver and Boyles on the 3 member Board.
One representative from EON tried to speak however, the board rejected his request limiting public speaking to Clinton County residents and or property owners only.