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Commissioner expresses concerns with proposed wind farm

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HARTINGTON — Cedar County Commissioners heard from a company Aug. 11 that plans to put in a wind farm on the northern edge of Wayne County

Nick Coil representing Trade Winds Energy spoke with Commissioners about a road use agreement.

Coil said his company is working on the Haystack Wind Project, which is a project representing the construction of 68 or 70 new wind turbines in Wayne County to be up and running by late 2021. He expects construction to begin by this coming October.

The wind turbines will be located immediately south of County Line 864 road in Wayne County over a broad area.

Cedar County maintains the County Line road and all but two of the wind turbines will be accessed from Wayne County roads.

There are two turbines that will be located in Wayne County which will have to gain access from 864 Rd. that the Cedar County road crews maintain and thus a county road use agreement must be struck between Cedar County and Trade Winds on a two-mile stretch of road that will be the access road for the two turbines.

Coil presented the details of the agreement to the board which included the work they will be doing to upgrade, build up and widen the road to be able to handle the wind turbine delivery and for any needed turbine or blade replacements in the future.

As part of the agreement, the wind turbine company will maintain and make any repairs on the two-mile stretch of road into the future.

Commissioners were told an up front payment of $1,500 will be made to anyone located along the road where there is a driveway access located and Trade Winds Energy would pay for and handle any upgrades that need to be done to the access intersection.

Commissioner Craig Bartels, whose southern county district will be affected by this project, had a number of questions and a few concerns on the project.

One main concern involved the need to shave down the road peaks to allow the big long trucks hauling the turbines to negotiate the hill without a problem and what is planned for the adjacent farm land. He also asked if the farm land will be taken down as well.

Bartels asked that he have an opportunity to meet with the engineer on the project to drive the two-mile stretch of road so that he completely understands their plans for the two-mile stretch.

They will be getting together within the next week to make this review of all the key elements of the design to see if there possibly needs to be any adjustments made to the proposed agreement.

Cedar County Attorney Nicholas Matney will also need to review the agreement. An agreement must be signed 30 days prior to the start of construction and with a target start date of Oct. 1, that leaves three weeks to work out any issues and have the agreement signed.

Coil will plan to be at the Aug. 25 Commission meeting to work out any lastminute details on the agreement.

Also Tuesday, Cedar County Road Supt., Carla Schmidt presented two underground easements for review for Districts One and Three. Both requests were approved by the respective district commissioner.

She then presented a recap of trucking costs for each district for hauling gravel and they varied such that she will talk to the haulers to get a more uniform rate.

The big variable is the distance the haulers must travel, which varies by district, however the cost per mile hauled should be reviewed to find a more equalized rate.

The Bow Valley bridge was also discussed. Schmidt said it is close to completion. They are waiting on results of a compaction break test on the concrete before traffic can be allowed to travel on the bridge. If the concrete does not meet the compaction test, it will need more time to cure which could delay the opening several weeks. Additional road work must still be done, which will only take a few days to complete.

Zoning Administrator Tim Gobel presented building permits that were previously approved by the Zoning Board.

These included permits for:

• Marge Heimes for a 72’ X 80’ family lodge

• John Brandl for a 25’ X 40’ pole barn,

• Diane’s Nursery (Diane Dickes) for a new 30’ X 96’ greenhouse to be located just east of her current greenhouses and a separate permit for a porch addition to her house.

• A family room and garage for Dave Noecker

• A 42’ X 66’ shop for John Kvols.