Special thanks to Jim Buer, Coby Billings, Albert Ericksen, Todd Mathis, Herb Pabst, Lynelle Stillwell, John Wheeler, Gary Swanson, and Rob Lee. They are volunteer members of the Cherry County Planning and Zoning Board that have given due diligence to tasks, especially most recently. After months of lengthy discussion and discourse, revised zoning regulations regarding wind turbines were approved by a majority vote in November for submittal to the county commissioners. Very important choices were made on acceptable noise levels, setback distances, as well as blade flicker and fire safety concerns.
It is now time for commissioners to responsibly consider regulation revisions as they regard the future for the county.
Decisions based upon public discourse have become words of particular pertinence. Any vote affecting the future should truly reflect ongoing public comments, including those of many county residents and others with experience with the industrial turbines. Many of these perspectives will likely be further expressed at a pending public hearing which will be a significant event that should not, however, occur during the holiday period out of respect for seasonal traditions.
Actions on any permit requests for turbines should not be considered until there is a commissioner vote on the final language of the regulations. There has been a multitude of hours spent considering this issue, and any rush to action would be disrespectful.
Wind developments in different parts of Nebraska and the nation have recently been getting knowledgeable scrutiny, resulting in a significant transition about the values and needs associated with turbine farms. In Cherry county, the citizens and decision-makers need to take full advantage of considerate fore-sight, rather than having any lament for what might go wrong following unsuitable industrial development.
Any decisions need to reflect the will of the people and represent what is best for Cherry county and indicate what the majority of residents prefer. Let the people decide! Perhaps the decision on these things should depend upon a vote of county residents, rather than people with an agenda of bias sitting in a room?
Figuratively, mules or horses may pull a wagon, but it is the attentive driver perched upon a front seat, holding the reins, that sets the course.
- James E. Ducey,