The Buchanan County Commission will be reviewing a proposal for a total commercial ban on wind energy. The ban was proposed by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday night.
Presiding Commissioner Lee Sawyer said that the commissioners have three options: to pass the proposal, deny the proposal or provide comments and suggestions and send the proposal back to planning and zoning.
Sawyer said as of now there is not a strict timeline on when the commissioners will act on the proposal. He said they look to do research on other counties that have established a total wind energy ban.
“The Planning and Zoning board has spent a lot of time looking at it, so we just need to decide what’s best moving forward,” Sawyer said.
The Planning and Zoning Commission voted in favor of a commercial wind band by a vote of 8-4. Sawyer said the process, starting with public forums and gathering research from an engineering firm, was a long, new process for the Planning and Zoning Commission and he was proud with how it all worked out.
“This is just kind of been a unique animal for them and for all of us,” Sawyer said. “We’ll take what they recommended and we’ll make a decision and decide what we’re going to do going forward.”
Sawyer said it is a challenge balancing the public feedback received on wind turbines so far. He said the people who are opposed are more vocal, while the people who are for wind energy are usually more behind the scenes.
After the proposal was announced Wednesday night, members of the public in attendance stood up and applauded. The proposal was motioned by Steve Reardon, the representative from Marion Township, which was the proposed area for potential wind turbines coming to Buchanan County.