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Ford County panel recommends more than doubling setbacks for wind turbines

The Ford County Board’s zoning committee finalized a package of proposed changes to the county’s ordinance regulating wind farms Tuesday. It includes a proposal to more than double the distance wind turbines must be from homes.

Committee members were earlier OK with a proposal to increase the existing 1,000-foot setback between wind turbines and “primary structures,” to 1,500 feet.

But the suggestion is now 2250 feet. That’s more than double the distance. Some feel that’ll chase away the wind farm companies.

The amended proposal was approved unanimously. It now goes to the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board before heading to the full County Board.

The Ford Ridge Wind Farm is already well under construction. Apex Clean Energy Company spokeswoman Erin Baker, according to the Ford County record, has spent $2.5 million building its wind farm and the project takes in the Gibson City and Sibley areas.

What happens with future development is unclear.

Jeremy Darnell, Superintendent of the GCMS school district, told the committee the district is expecting tax revenue from the Ford Ridge operation.

94.1 WGFA