Labette County commissioners Monday entertained the idea of putting into effect a moratorium on wind farm construction and development, but no formal action was taken.
County resident Lindsey Wilson approached county commissioners about protective opportunities for the county with wind turbines.
Wilson and her family live in what would be the footprint of the wind farm if the German utility company RWE moves forward with the development.
She asked commissioners to complete research and read about wind farms.
“And so I would just like to request that there be a review and some research and action taken as soon as possible,” she told commissioners.
Commissioner Lonie Addis brought up the idea of enacting a moratorium. Commissioner Terry Weidert said he was thinking the same thing.
Weidert asked Commissioner Cole Proehl what his thoughts were on a moratorium.
Proehl said he didn’t think a moratorium would do any good for the county. He said county residents are not interested in spending money to fight something that could lower taxes.
Wilson asked Proehl who he was referring to and he said these people did not want to be publicly named.
“Several people,” he said. “Most of them say, ‘Don’t use my name because I don’t want to be attacked publicly at a school event, church, my job, online.’”
Proehl said if the people want to stop wind development, the county needs to be zoned.
“Want to zone it? We’re zoning it all. And that’s what’s going to have to happen if you want to stop it. I don’t think that’s in the best interest of the county, but that’s my opinion,” Proehl said.
Weidert then requested County Counselor Brian Johnson to look into a potential moratorium, around six to seven months.
In other business Monday, commissioners:
— Talked to Leon Steeby with the Labette County Fire Department No. 9. Steeby was there to see if the county could help or offer any solutions with the new station for the fire department. Steeby said the fire department learned it is approximately $220,000-$240,000 short for the project. Addis said the county did not have funds available to help; he said he wished the county could help with finances. Johnson pointed out the fire department could look into getting donations. Jim Zaleski, economic development director for the city of Parsons, said officials will look into grant opportunities for the fire department as well.
— Set election canvass days as Aug. 14 and Nov. 15.
— Held two executive sessions. One was for attorney-client privilege. Following that session, commissioners instructed auditor Rodney Burns to continue the audit for the county. The second executive session was on non-elected personnel. No action was taken.