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Planning Commission okays two new meteorological towers in Harmony Township

Fri, Aug 29th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - The Fillmore County Planning Commission gave the go ahead to EcoEnergy to erect two more meteorological towers in Harmony Township at their Thursday, August 28 meeting. This would be the third and fourth meteorological towers the Illinois based company will install in Fillmore County. Both towers are less than 200 feet tall.

One tower will be placed on land owned by Richard Boice in Section 7 of Harmony Township, approximately four miles west of Harmony. The second tower is located in Section 20 of Harmony Township on land owned by Rick, Irvin and Marilyn Morem, approximately three miles southwest of Harmony. Both applications for conditional use permits will be forwarded to the Fillmore County Board of Commissioners for final approval.

Don Miller, Minnesota Wind Project Manager for EcoEnergy Wind based in Harmony, told the commission that the met towers will record wind speed and direction and "help us forecast overall capability of the wind farm."

Miller said that the 200 MW farm would consist of 134 turbines. The company has already signed up 22,000 acres of land in western Fillmore County.

Responding to a question from Commission member Duane Bakke, Miller said that in the next six weeks he would be contacting township and county officials in the lease area to discuss the use of roads during the construction phase.

Miller said there are serious issues about the impact wind turbine construction would have on area roads.

"We [EcoEnergy] will be responsible about our construction," Miller said.

Miller later told the Journal that construction could begin as soon as summer 2009.

Board of Adjustment

• Prior to the Planning Commission meeting, the Board of Adjustment met to grant a 21 foot variance for John and Ellen Whalen to build a deck/ramp on the side of their house in Section 13 of Bristol Township. The ramp would allow John accessibility as he uses a wheel chair.

The board approved the variance.

• A request for relief from the zoning administrator's decision to not allow David Swanson of Cannon Falls to place his park model camper at Eagle Cliff campground, which was tabled from the July board meeting, has been withdrawn. Swanson reportedly moved his camper to Wisconsin.

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