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Setbacks for large wind energy conversion system


Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Fillmore County Planning Commission had an informal discussion at their April 15 meeting of what should be the appropriate setback for a large wind conversion turbine from a dwelling. The current ordinance requires a 750 foot setback. Zoning Administrator Chris Graves asked the commission members for their opinions.

There was a question if the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) would honor the local government ordinance. Eco Energy has stated they will set back turbines 1,000 feet from all dwellings. Graves speculated the state could permit what they wanted to do, without regard to the county ordinance. Duane Bakke said they should find out if the PUC would recognize the setback imposed by a local unit of government for these large projects.

Bakke suggested they find home owners willing to let them into their homes to experience the flicker and the noise near a large turbine. He wanted to know if "ice throw" is a problem. Jim Keune said he understands the "ice throw" problem has been corrected since the early turbines near Dodge Center. Bakke felt the 750 foot setback is sufficient for the smaller private turbines.

A couple of citizens asked to comment. Brian Huggenvik of Harmony explained his home is on the eastern border of Eco Energy's proposed wind farm. The nearest turbine is expected to be 1200 feet from his home. He explained he wanted his home to be livable and wanted to avoid some of the contention the large wind farms have brought to other communities.

Huggenvik cited a May 2009 report, Public Health Impacts of Wind Turbines, by the Minnesota Department of Health that was completed to evaluate health effects of low frequency vibrations and sound from large wind energy conversion systems. It concludes that complaints of low frequency audible noise and flicker are not readily noticed under most terrain conditions at a distance of one-half mile. He related information from the report that says the high frequency noise is not a problem with typical setbacks like 1000 feet. The house reduces the high frequency noise. However, the report concludes low frequency noise is a problem for some people especially at night at typical setback distance. The report notes complaints of sleeplessness, headaches, and annoyance. It says the low frequency noise is not a problem for businesses or while people are outdoors. "Complaints are more likely when turbines are visible or when shadow flicker occurs." Shadow flicker .....
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Chatfield hopes to finally resolve wastewater plant headaches

Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Chatfield City Council approved the hiring of Gopher Septic to clean biosolids from three of its reed beds at their April 12 meeting. Superintendent Darryl Haner recommended using Gopher Septic because of their experience and their ability to wo ..... 
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Rushford and Rushford Village hold joint city meeting

Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

Several issues have plagued the relationship between Rushford and the city of Rushford Village for some time. With staff, engineers, and lawyers present, the two cities recently held a combined meeting to attempt to move towards resolution of at lea ..... 
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Rushford Council discusses costs

Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

In a fairly cut and dry meeting, the council met Monday, April 12th, and combed through areas of city functions which they are hoping to fine tune financially. First up on the agenda was the topic of the municipal liquor store. It has been an item o ..... 
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Lanesboro's new construction

Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

There was a Board of Equalization hearing before the regular Lanesboro City Council meeting on April 12. County Assessor Ron Vikre was present to answer any questions or concerns people had about their property values.

Vikre explained they we ..... 
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Spring Valley's board of review

Fri, Apr 16th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Spring Valley City Council met on Monday night and opened the Board of Review at 5:30. The Board of Review gives property owners an opportunity to appear and voice their pleasure/displeasure with their property evaluations. As usual, the crowd w ..... 
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County fears another cost shift

Fri, Apr 9th, 2010
Posted in Government

Once again Fillmore County Commissioners expressed concern over rumored legislative cost shifts which would put added pressure on county property taxes. Tom Boyd, Community Services, at the board's April 6 meeting explained that if the cost shift pa ..... 
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Rushford Village entertains questions on prospective campground

Fri, Apr 9th, 2010
Posted in Government

The March 23, 2010, regular meeting was called to order by Mayor Gordon Johnson at 7:00 p.m. Council members present: Dennis Overland, Roger Ekern, Elizabeth Atkinson, Dale Schwanke. Also present: Zoning Administrator Howard Otis, Attorney Thomas Ma ..... 
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Ropes visits Fountain council

Fri, Apr 9th, 2010
Posted in Government

Present: Mayor, Richard Kujath, Council Persons: Dave Gudmundson, Jim Schott, Bryan Ostby and Chad Wangen. Clerk: Stan Speer, Asst. Clerk: Sharon Speer. Police Chief: Tom Mosher. City Maintenance: Herman Freese. City Contracted Engineer: Dave Morril ..... 
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