Proposed wind farm in Marion County fanning backlash

Kansas

MARION COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Marion County has one wind farm in the far north part of the county.

A second wind farm is proposed and county commissioners are expecting strong public comment from those for and against the proposal.

County commissioners have already heard from some opposed to the look of a wind farm in the county.

“Some have moved out into the country you know to escape the city or whatever and looking for solitude,” said Marion County Commissioner Kent Becker. “They have built a new home. I can certainly see their point.”

Commissioner Becker says the proposed wind farm is from Expedition Wind based out of Minneapolis. He also says the county planning and zoning commission will recommend to approve or not approve the wind farm.

“It will soon come back to the zoning (commission) for a look. Expedition has applied for a conditional use permit but is making changes and filing it again with the county,” said Becker.

While it will be up to commissioners ultimately to vote yes or no, there is no shortage of opinions.

One landowner who does not yet want to be identified is against the proposal. He says the wind farm will change the landscape of the county.

Another homeowner says she and others are working with an attorney out of the Kansas City area to try and slow or potentially stop the wind farm. The homeowner did not want to be identified yet because she believes there are legal issues that could stop the proposed wind farm.

Other landowners say they don’t mind a wind farm.

“I think we need to have new energy you know. Get away from the coal energy,” said Moose Meirowsky who is a life-long county resident. “I’m for it. I know there’s a lot of people against it. Unsightly. But we have to have new technology for our future for our grand kids.”

Commissioner Becker says he expects what he calls a “very robust” discussion on the proposed wind farm. He also says the public comment will likely be very similar to comments over a proposal for a wind farm in Reno County where there have been several sessions and several days of hearings.

“Reno County, the way I understand, it is two or three days worth of hearings,” said Commissioner Becker. “And I have talked to one of their commissioners and I’m not sure. We may end up with more than one day here.”

The proposal in Marion County is expected to be up for public comment in May. KSN will keep you updated.

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