Article

County to amend wind ordinance

After several weeks of study, commissioners are ready to amend the county Wind Conversion System ordinance regarding the constant noise level that comes from an active windmill. Presently, the ordinance sets a maximum noise allowed at 60 decibels. Commissioners plan to set the maximum decibel level at 30. 

Montgomery County Commissioners announced Tuesday they are willing to do all they can to slow down the progress of wind mills locating in the county.

After several weeks of study, commissioners are ready to amend the county Wind Conversion System ordinance regarding the constant noise level that comes from an active windmill. Presently, the ordinance sets a maximum noise allowed at 60 decibels. Commissioners plan to set the maximum decibel level at 30. The decibel reading will come from the nearest windmill to a house or business.

County attorney Dan Taylor, who has reportedly done many hours of research on the subject, said changing the nuisance ordinance is a safe way to make changes in what is allowed in the county. He has looked at case law involving Indiana counties and other county ordinances in the past six weeks.

“There are 13 Indiana counties with wind ordinances,” Taylor said. “By changing the maximum decibel level, we will have the strictest noise standard in Indiana.”

Taylor has studied several cases that ended up in court over county ordinances and he believes the maximum noise level is one way to protect the county from losing a court case if sued by a windmill... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Montgomery County Commissioners announced Tuesday they are willing to do all they can to slow down the progress of wind mills locating in the county.

After several weeks of study, commissioners are ready to amend the county Wind Conversion System ordinance regarding the constant noise level that comes from an active windmill. Presently, the ordinance sets a maximum noise allowed at 60 decibels. Commissioners plan to set the maximum decibel level at 30. The decibel reading will come from the nearest windmill to a house or business. 

County attorney Dan Taylor, who has reportedly done many hours of research on the subject, said changing the nuisance ordinance is a safe way to make changes in what is allowed in the county. He has looked at case law involving Indiana counties and other county ordinances in the past six weeks.

“There are 13 Indiana counties with wind ordinances,” Taylor said. “By changing the maximum decibel level, we will have the strictest noise standard in Indiana.”

Taylor has studied several cases that ended up in court over county ordinances and he believes the maximum noise level is one way to protect the county from losing a court case if sued by a windmill company. He said the present wind ordinance is comprehensive and does not make it easy for a renewable energy company to get permission to establish wind farms.

“I will say that 97 percent of our ordinance is enforcible,” Taylor said. “A lot of things have to happen before any company would obtain a permit to build a wind farm.”

Commission president Jim Fulwider said the change is a result for commissioners looking into windmills in the county after No Wind Mills Montgomery County organized and have provided petitions signed by residents asking commissioners to stop the two active wind mill companies operating in the northern half of the county. Most of the windmills contracts are in the northeast portion of the county and runs west to Coal Creek. 

Fulwider said Taylor’s research is valuable. He said there was not much the county could do with the present ordinance. He said trying to change the ordinance could result in a major expense to county taxpayers as the result of the changes being questioned in court.

“Our hands are pretty well tied with what we can or cannot do,” Fulwider said. “We can address the noise side of the issue without facing legal action.”

After the meeting Linda Schoen of No Wind Mills Montgomery County said the ordinance change is a good first step. She was pleased to find that commissioners and Taylor have been discussing the issue. However, she hopes the county will do more to stop wind farms.

In other business, commissioners:

  • Established intent to conduct a commissioners sale to sell tax sale certificates for properties that are severely delinquent in payment of property taxes. 
  • Gave permission to advertise bids for bituminous materials to be used by the county highway department.
  • Entered into an agreement with American Structure Point for the annual bridge inspection.
  • Heard from Montgomery County EMA director Shari Harrington that her department was awarded a total of  $501,280 in reimbursement grants.

Source: http://www.journalreview.co...

OCT 11 2017
http://www.windaction.org/posts/47394-county-to-amend-wind-ordinance
back to top