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September 29, 2020

8/21/2020 10:54:00 AM
Board hears plans for windmill project

A presentation by Pattern Energy for a windmill project that would involve both Iowa and Lafayette counties could be financially beneficial for townships and the counties, the Iowa County Board of Supervisors were told Tuesday.
A representative of Pattern Energy says the company plans to be a contributor to the communities for the next 40 plus years. The company is based in San Francisco and with operations out of Houston. It has many projects going in both North and South America. It was noted that the company has 10,000 projects worldwide.
Land in the Bloomfield area is being considered with other areas also being looked at in Iowa and Lafayette counties. The company pledges to work with farm owners with the project designed to help the farm economy and ensure longevity.
The scope of the project is to develop wind, solar, transmissions and energy storage projects. The company works from the early stages of development to repowering older facilities.
He also said the company is community minded and has donated to the Southwest Wisconsin Food Bank, was a livestock purchaser at the Lafayette County Fair and has been working with Darlington schools on the Kidwind Challenge. He said plans are to purchase at the Iowa County Fair livestock sale also.
"We are in this for the long term," he emphasized. "We plan to be the largest wind development in Wisconsin, using wind from Iowa and Lafayette counties by partnering with local farmers."
He added that the company already operates the Quilt Block Wind Farm in the Town of Seymour and has added $160,000 to that township budget. The same type of benefits will be available for both the townships where the project is located as well as Iowa County.
"We use minimal acreage and allow farms to diversify," he said. "The revenue stream will help protect wealth for generations."
The representative emphasized the project has no connection with the Cardinal-Hickory Creek project though it would follow some of the route.
"We can leverage the benefits and if built, create an investment that stays here rather than bounce around Iowa," he added.
Permits for the project are granted by the Public Service Commission.
The presentation also showed the construction process with an emphasis on safety.
County Administrator Larry Bierke has been working with the company providing information.
After the presentation Bierke gave his Administrator's Report and called attention to the fact that the Iowa County Child Support under the direction of Deb Rosenthal, has received a certificate of excellence.
The board received three land use changes and approved all in one motion.
Garrett Peck and Mark Peck had 5.27 acres in the Town of Arena approved for a change fro A1 Agriculture to AR1 Ag Residence.
Melanie and Scott Norton and Dave and Shelly Lee had 2.0 acres in the Town of Brigham approved from A1 to AR.
Miller Living Trust and Laverne Hensen had 12.84 acres changed from A1 and AR1 to all AR1.
The board approved a "land swap" for Tyler and Erica Jenson that trades land with the county to get the Jenson's well on their property. A legal description approved in 1989 from a 1968 aerial photo created the situation which has now been corrected with no loss of land by either party.
A suggestion to reduce the number of committee meetings during COVID-19 was discussed by the supervisors. With the mask order in effect and social distancing requirements Chairman John Meyers said much of the work could be done at home, especially when it comes to reading reports.
Supervisor Joan Davis said she does not want people wanting to attend committee meetings to feel unwanted and disconnected. She said she feels people should know this is only temporary until the pandemic is under control.
Meyers said he would like to leave the decision to meet or not in the hands of the chairpersons.
Supervisor Bruce Paull said zoom has been working well with the Healthy Aging committee. He said the option to attend by zoom is available.
Earlier in the meeting Paull informed the board that due to a recent move he is now located in Supervisor Curt Peterson's district.  He asked to be able to serve out his term.
Meyers said protocol has to be followed and the position will be advertised.
Under committee chair reports Supervisor Peterson said the law enforcement center project is on schedule and beams are now going up.

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