County supports RES wind farm

COMMENTS, QUESTIONS–The Baraga County Board allowed comments and took questions on the RES Summit wind proposal at a special meeting on Friday, April 27, 2018. The board then voted unanimously in support of the project through a two-page resolution. L’Anse Township has the authority to determine the fate of the project.

by Barry Drue
In a full court room Friday, April 27, 2018, the Baraga County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a two-page resolution supporting the proposed RES Summit Lake Wind Project. To date the county board and L’Anse Area Schools Board of Education have voted to support the wind farm. The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Council has voted to oppose it. Ultimately L’Anse Township’s board will determine the fate of the project. L’Anse Township’s Planning and Zoning Commission has voted to remove the possibility of a special use permit for wind turbines in Forestry-zoned areas, which is where they are planned on Weyerhaeuser land. A public hearing on the recommendation to remove the special use permit option will be held before the township board votes, both of which are expected in May. (The scheduled special meeting and public hearing for May 2 has been postponed. It will be rescheduled later in May. See legal advertisement on page 3.) At Friday’s special meeting of the commissioners Chairman Mike Koskinen set the ground rules for discussion of the wind issue prior to the county board’s vote.  He maintained control over the meeting and did not let the discussion devolve into back-and-forth claims between those in the audience. The discussion lasted about 40 minutes. Some mentioned a feeling of “betrayal” on the part of the board, and lack of transparency. When the board was asked if it had data regarding the feasibility of the RES proposal, Koskinen said, “I’m
sure it’s out there or they wouldn’t be pursuing it”. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.