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County Needs Zoning Ordinance

August 25, 2016
Emmetsburg News

Dear Editor

I appreciate the time you have taken to attend the public meetings about potential Zoning for Wind Towers in Palo Alto County.

I was employed at Iowa Lakes Community College when the college first considered erecting its own wind turbine. I can't take credit for the idea; but I can heap praises on my colleagues whose leadership led to the creation of one of America's first wind energy programs. It was an example of how the college has a role in economic development. Hundreds of wind technicians are placed in good paying jobs all over the nation.

Who benefited? The job seekers of course; as did hundreds of farmers who found a way to hedge against lean crop years by renting small portions of their farm ground to the electric companies. For the county it means increased tax revenues as seen in O'brien County. Nearby Pocahontas County's tax revenues from wind turbines reportedly total $2 million annually. Iowa is in the top two wind energy producing states in the nation. Palo Alto County can benefit.

Have your readers wondered why farmers in Palo Alto County are not part of that trend, hosting wind energy farms on their property? Palo Alto County needs a "Zoning" ordinance approved by the County Supervisors. A committee is working on that as we speak. To lead such a process however, they need citizens who see the value in a high-tech industry help create the future for their children and grandchildren raise their voices. Yes, the farmers will stand to gain; we live in a rural community and we'll benefit as well

It's their land, they should have a voice in designing the rules; not simply rules to restrict wind towersbut guidelines for a smart development plan so that we can all live with an idea that will work for everyone.


(signed) David E. Nixon

Emmetsburg, IA



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