Letter: Thanks to Freeborn County Board

Published 6:51 pm Friday, March 29, 2019

Association of Freeborn County Landowners gives a big thank you to the county commissioners who are taking a moment to review the Freeborn County and Freeborn Wind LLC road and ditch agreement. AFCL agrees that a protective road agreement is needed should this project proceed.

AFCL has asked for three paragraphs to be removed from the agreement (4.12 and 5 of the development agreement, 3.3 of the road agreement). County Attorney DavidWalker stated, and AFCL agrees, that the agreement is needed for protection of the county to get their roads and ditches repaired at no cost to the voters of Freeborn County, to establish insurance is provided, and protection in the event Freeborn County would be sued.

AFCL is asking for removal of three paragraphs that provide no benefit or protection to the county and are not necessary for a binding agreement. In the case of Section 5 of the development agreement, it would give away important rights, particularly in light of the prior documented problems with the Bent Tree wind project.

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We’re grateful our elected officials will protect the county. This development agreement can do that, and would do that without Section 5. Section 5 would give away important protections.

Nearly 80 percent of residents living in the proposed project have declared they do not support the project. There was no arm twisting or meetings to accomplish this. AFCL went door to door with a one-time request, and signed nearly 470 residents in about 10 days.

There are now 42 turbines proposed in Minnesota, and the remaining 58 are across the road/state line. There are only 12 turbine owners who will live within a mile of their turbine, and 30 participants live miles away — from Las Vegas, New York, Green Bay, St Ansgar, Northwood, Charles City, Phoenix, Albert Lea, Austin, Hayward and  Twin Lakes. Hundreds of non-participants will live within a mile of those other’s turbines, living with impacts inflicted by others, by this proposed project coming into the community.

We ask that Freeborn County continue to protect us — don’t give away residents’ and county rights, and don’t give away land rights. Remove Sections 4.12 and 5 of the development agreement and Section 3.3 of the road agreement. It’s in the county’s and the public’s interest.

Dorenne Hansen