Page County Courthouse

Page County Courthouse

(Clarinda) -- Page County officials received an update on a wind project intended to be located south of Shenandoah.

Meeting in regular session Tuesday morning, the Page County Board of Supervisors spoke with Mark Crowl with Invenergy, who announced the date of a public meeting and requested a formal vote from the supervisors on the "Shenandoah Hills" wind farm. The project would straddle the Page-Fremont County line south of Shenandoah and run to the Iowa-Missouri border, including 28 turbines in Page County. After a large number of residents voiced their concerns against the project Tuesday and during several previous public comment periods, Crowl says the wind company intends to hold a public meeting at the Waterfalls Wedding Venue on Monday, June 13 at 7 p.m. in Farragut to discuss the project.

"Everything that was included in our application, and then also bring in a bunch of subject-matter experts that can also answer a lot of detailed questions as well," said Crowl. "So we really have that set up as a time on the 13th, for people to voice concerns, get answers, and have us get an opportunity to be able to dive into all the details of the application that we put forward."

Additionally, Crowl suggested the board vote on the project the following Tuesday at their regular meeting. The board was presented with the signed project by County Engineer J.D. King yesterday, who received the permit application in early March.

Previous discussions had involved the county holding its own public meeting. However, Supervisors Chair Alan Armstrong says he feels there has already been ample time for public input, and it may never be possible for everyone to agree on the matter.

"I would welcome them to give a call to anybody they want, we've had plenty of public comment time, plenty of meetings, and we've been discussing this since I believe late 2018 in our board meetings," said Armstrong. "We've heard from a lot of different people, done a lot of research -- it goes back to when Jon Herzberg was on the board. Will this ever make everyone happy -- no."

Armstrong also questioned whether the board had explicitly mentioned hosting a public hearing. However, Supervisor Jacob Holmes says he believes the board should follow through on previous comments of taking a "thorough" look at the plans once it has been placed in front of them and says two weeks isn't long enough.

"I don't think waiting a month is a big deal, because two more weeks isn't going to solve anything, and I think it should be at least a month -- or four weeks," said Holmes. "Especially with everybody else, the people that live out there, like me, they are busier than all get out right now trying to put crop in, make hay, and think about other things -- they can't think about anything else. This is for good too, this is a big deal -- this isn't some temporary little one-year decision."

Holmes also disagreed with the idea that the public meeting hosted by Invenergy should qualify as the previously discussed public meeting intended to be held by the county.

In line with concerns citizens raised during the meeting's public comment period, Holmes says he would like to see more information on the environmental studies conducted by Invenergy.

"I would like to have all of the environmental study you did for Page County -- Fremont County is separate that's fine -- but what is it in Page County as I sit here and try to represent that," said Holmes. "The complete of what you have. Because, I've got people documenting stuff and sending it to me, so I want to see if they match and what they look like. So, I'd like to look at that."

The board took no formal action on setting a separate public meeting for the proposed wind energy project. However, Crowl says Invenergy's meeting isn't just for affected landowners, and anyone is welcome to attend.

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