Stanton Township passes moratorium on wind | News, Sports, Jobs – The Mining Gazette – Daily Mining Gazette

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
The Stanton Township board discusses a moratorium on wind turbine…….

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Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
The Stanton Township board discusses a moratorium on wind turbine enchancment all by way of its meeting Wednesday.

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STANTON TOWNSHIP — The Stanton Township Board imposed a 9-month moratorium on enchancment for a proposed wind turbine enterprise at its meeting Wednesday.

Stanton Township Supervisor Marty Rajala said the moratorium would buy time till the township might full a resident survey gauging their opinion of the Scotia Wind enterprise, Which might Embrace 12 575-foot turbines in Adams and Stanton townships shut to Whealkate Bluff. The board accredited sfinishing the survey To every registered voter Inside the township.

“We now Want to know if the residents are for them or in the direction of them, and we’re going to go by a straightforward majority,” Rajala said.

Preliminary outcomes from surveys handed out On the earlier meeting conagencyed 82% opposition, Rajala said.

Board members said They might abolish the moratorium if a majority of township residents assist the enterprise. The ordinance additionally permited the board to move a decision extfinishing the moratorium “to the extent needed To finish its consideration and enchancment.”

“I foresee it being both a carried out deal, lifeless Inside the water, in 9 months, or we’ll have acted Inside The subsequent 9 months to go down the road of zoning,” Rajala said.

The board additionally accredited forming a planning fee, a prerequiwebsite for Establishing a township-broad zoning ordinance. Adams Township is Making an try to reconstitute its planning fee, which had been dormant for yrs.

The planning fee ordinance would have a 63-day ready interval after publication of the ordinance, Rajala said.

Rajala said the ordinance had been drafted in session with authorized counsel. He said after the meeting he was Unconstructive if he was permited To current the counsel’s identify. During Wednesday’s meeting, he said it was not the agency suggested by Kevon Martis, a downstate zoning administrator who has given talks opposing huge-scale wind and photo voltaic tasks. Final month, Martis spoke in South Differ on strategies for stopping wind tasks, collectively with moratoriums and township zoning ordinances.

Final week, the Division of Environment, Good Lakes and Power (EGLE) denied Circle Powers’ wetlands permit request for the turbines, based mostly hugely on the potential hazard to bald eagles and bats, collectively with the northern prolonged-eared bat, a federally threatened species.

Moore said Wednesday Circle Power has not decided but whether or not to attrmovement, however said It is persevering with to pursue the enterprise.

The timing of the moratorium is “unfortunate,” Moore said. Circle Power is talking with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service relating to its bat and eagle conservation plans, Moore said. Circle Power additionally plans for submit-enchancment surveys, “So as that if our estimates are incorrect, we’ll know virtually immediately,” Moore said.

Over the previous three yrs, Moore said, Circle Power has had biologists logging “hundreds of hours” Inside The sector tallying birds, collectively with species and their flight course. Methods have included eagle nest surveys and surveys of The world by helicopter. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service signed off on the strategies earlier than they started, Moore said.

“We now have been informed by U.S. Fish & Wildlife thOn They might actually Choose it if we have been Elsethe place,” he said On the meeting. “We now have carried out three yrs of research figuring out the animals and the bats Inside The world. And we have the science Which will current that That might not a dangerous website for the animals Inside The world.”

Charles Markham, president of the Guardians of the Keweenaw Ridge, the residents’ group shaped in opposition to the enterprise, is joyful with the moratorium. Together with the potential influence on wildlife, he and fullly different residents apprehensive the sights and sounds of the turbines would ruInside the attrmovement of The world.

“I’m simply ecstatic about every thing,” he said. “…They’ve been informed For two To three yrs to go Elsethe place … on their unique software, they seemed up by Gratiot Lake They typically Checked out Toivola, and that was even worse, so I don’t know the place they’re going to go.”

At its meeting on Monday, Adams Township board members talked about a moratorium, And thought of scheduling a particular meeting To behave on it. Township Lawyer Kevin Mackey had cited potential authorized factors with the moratorium, pointing to an ongoing authorized dispute in Denton Township downstate.

Requested if Circle Power was contemplating authorized movement on the moratorium, Moore said he needed to study the ordinance earlier than commenting.

Markham said he didn’t have something in the direction of Circle Power. If something, he said, he blamed the landowners’ mother or father agency Molpus, which he said had earlier thanhand loved A great-to-impartial popularity Inside the township.

“I don’t blame (Circle Power),” he said. “They’re simply Attempting to Earn money.”

Moore pointed to the potential advantages for the township. The contract with Greater Peninsula Power Co. currents UPPCO with energy at $35 per megawatt hour. That would imply decrease electrical funds for residents, Moore said.

“We’re considerably under (whOn they would have paid fullly differentwise), and We anticipate that’s important,” Moore said.

Residents On the meeting questioned whether or not Which might translate to financial savings For patrons.

The turbines would additionally generate property taxes for The agency, Moore said. A Michigan Tax Tribunal ruling earlier this yr relating to a wind enterprise downstate might End in municipalities paying again hundreds of hundreds of dollars in taxes to utility corporations. Moore said he Can be prepared To Make constructive the property tax values.

The enterprise would create two jobs prolonged-time period, Moore said. Brief-time period, It’d imply jobs and spfinishing Inside The world all by way of enchancment.

Markham apprehensive if the enterprise goes forward, It is going to encourage extra wind farms Inside The world, whether or not from Circle Power or fullly different corporations.

“That’s the American method,” he said. “That’s how issues go, if we don’t cease them now.”

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