Marshall County Commissioners Approve WECS Ordinance

This sign was held up at a previous meeting of the Marshall County Commissioners

In a unanimous vote, the Marshall County Commissioners voted to approve ordinance 2013-04 which refers to amendments proposed for Wind Energy Conversion Systems.

Marshall County Plan Director, Ralph Booker, reminded the Commissioners of the proposed amendments and noted that the phrase “large wind systems” and “wind farms” were deleted from the Agriculture and Industrial zoning and “small wind farms” was added. The ordinance calls for a 2,640 foot setback of any wind turbine farm and basically disallows a Wind Energy Conversion System in Marshall County.

In a one hour public hearing, several Marshall County residents came forth with their opinions regarding the harmful effects of wind farms; notably health hazards, aesthetics and the capability of causing destruction if they fall apart. Representatives from the Concerned Citizens of Whitley County presented evidence as well stating that they are against a proposed wind farm in that county.

Two residents spoke in favor of wind farms citing economic development and business into the county. One of those residents was the Union Township President of Farm Bureau who supports the expansion of technology and stated that the ordinance creates an uphill battle for companies who want to pursue that avenue of growth.

The commissioners took all comments under consideration. Commissioner Deb Griewank thanked everyone for their comments and stated that she doesn’t want wind farm companies coming into the county and taking land and property rights away from farmers or any resident. Commissioner Jack Roose stated that he’s not for subsidizing any type of industry for government gain. All of the commissioners agreed that they’ve heard from both sides of the argument and appreciated everyone’s tireless work in research and for attending the meetings to present them with the information. They unanimously approved the ordinance and then suspended the rules to approve the ordinance on all three readings.

Those in attendance gave the commissioners a standing ovation after their vote and a few people even cried in relief.