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County Board updated on EcoHarmony West Wind Project


Fri, May 15th, 2009
Posted in Government

Don Miller representing EcoEnergy brought the board up to date on the status of the proposed EcoHarmony West Project at the board's May 12 meeting. The comment period regarding the application for a Large Wind Energy Conversion System Site Permit ends May 20, 2009. EcoEnergy proposes to build a 200 megawatt wind farm in this first phase. A planned second phase would yield a similar size wind farm.

EcoEnergy out of Madison, Wisconsin, is working on wind projects throughout the Midwest. Miller explained there are four components for a wind project: 1) a good wind resource; four towers testing the resource have been up for as long as four years, 2) a point where the power can be sent out, the interconnect, for this project located south and east of Harmony, 3) willing participants, Miller claims nearly 110 agreements have been made with landowners mostly in Harmony and Bristol Townships, some in York and Carimona Townships, 4) two state permits, the site permit which is in progress and the Certificate of Need Permit which is granted if the project meets the state's long term energy goals. Both permit applications were accepted by the Public Utilities Commission, one in January and one in February 2009. Miller notes the project will help the renewable energy standard signed into law by Governor Tim Pawlenty on February 22, 2007, requiring 25% of the electricity produced by the state's utilities to come from renewable energy by 2025. There will be a public hearing on the application for the Need permit, also. A public hearing was held on the Site permit on April 15. Miller said another public hearing will be held by the state in Harmony in June.

The hope is to have a report completed by the end of July so it can be on the state's Public Utilities Commission agenda in August. There will be another opportunity for public input at that time. Environmental studies will be done to study impact on birds, bats, wet land, and noise pollution. The study also considers size, type and timing.

Miller explained that the company policy is to setback turbines at least 1,000 feet from a dwelling exceeding the state requirement of 500 feet. In order to meet the state's noise standard of 50 decibels, turbines would need to be set back at least 700 feet anyway. He equated 50 decibels to be similar to a refrigerator compressor. Also, the noise factor about 1,000 feet from a busy highway would yield about 50 to 60 decibels of sound.

Miller adds the .....
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Spring Valley is a "Storm Ready Community"

Fri, May 15th, 2009
Posted in Government

Mainly routine business at the May 11th Spring Valley City Council meeting Monday night. Todd Shea of the National Weather Service in LaCrosse was on the agenda to inform City officials that after years of work Spring Valley has been awarded the tit ..... 
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Preston to update Land Use Plan

Fri, May 8th, 2009
Posted in Government



The Preston City Council's meeting was relatively brief on May 4. City Administrator Joe Hoffman explained the purpose of a Land Use Plan for the city. The plan was last updated October 1999. The plan along with the zoning map and the land u ..... 
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Does Lanesboro need a siren?

Fri, May 8th, 2009
Posted in Government

Lanesboro's Street Superintendent and Fire Chief Andy Drake brought some matters to the attention of the City Council during their regular meeting on May 4.

Drake believes that an emergency siren needs to be placed near the Zenith Street are ..... 
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County preparedness for H1N1

Fri, May 8th, 2009
Posted in Government

Public Health Director Sharon Serfling provided information on the H1N1 influenza and recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus. She said they are not focusing on the number of confirmed cases as much as the effort to contain them. There ar ..... 
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Rushford City Council attacks full agenda with full audience

Fri, May 1st, 2009
Posted in Government

With an ambitiously long agenda, and a packed house of spectators, the Rushford City Council held its regular bi-monthly meeting April 27.

Three public hearings were scheduled, and no doubt the nearly fifty spectators were hoping their dinne ..... 
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County asks for reconsideration for Forestvile Historic Meighen Store Site

Fri, May 1st, 2009
Posted in Government

The board approved a carefully worded letter to be sent to the Director of the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS), Nina Archabal, and to our legislators at the board's April 28 meeting. The MHS proposes to close the site as of July 1, 2009. This is ..... 
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Spring Valley City Council pursuing large grant for industrial park expansion

Fri, May 1st, 2009
Posted in Government

The Spring Valley City Council meeting started off on a very positive note. Before any other business was conducted Mayor Struzyk announced that the Federal Grant submitted by Administrator Deb Zimmer has advanced through the review process and addi ..... 
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Rushford deliberates over motel location

Fri, Apr 24th, 2009
Posted in Government

Even though the agenda included a discussion of over $10 million in street, sewer and water improvements needed in the city, arguably the most anticipated discussion at the Rushford City Council meeting April 13 was the EDA recommendation to approve ..... 
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