by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor

The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously during its Thursday, Nov. 17

meeting to authorize the county’s legal counsel, Bonnie Toskey of Cohl, Stoker & Toskey, P.C., to draft an opinion and outline of procedure for bringing a moratorium on wind energy into place. The decision comes in the wake of complaints regarding a potential $250 million project that would affect residents of Rush, Middlebury, Owosso Charter Township, and Fairfield townships. Apex Clean Energy of Charlottesville, VA has been working with the county since 2008 to bring the Maple Rapid Wind project to the area, which would include between 30 and 60 wind turbines measuring up to 600 feet in height.

Thursday’s decision comes in response to many local residents learning of the plan, which led to several heated discussions at the township level. While the county’s board of commissioners voted in June to allow the construction of structures up to 600 feet to accommodate the project, no building permits have been issued by the county. Residents have expressed concern over the project for several reasons, including the possibility of decreased property values, potentially harmful noise levels, and a potential risk to local wildlife, while others simply do not want their beautiful country views obstructed.

Commissioner Les Schneider later motioned to add an item to the agenda where commissioners would vote to create the moratorium before Wednesday, Dec. 7, at which time a public hearing will be held where Apex representatives will speak to the community regarding the project. The motion failed.

Commissioners Institute Moratorium On Wind Energy was last modified: November 21st, 2016 by Karen Elford