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Wind farm foe to run again

Staff writer

Write-in candidate Tom Britain plans to run for county commissioner because of a county ordinance related to approval of Sunflower Wind Farm.

Britain appeared at Monday’s commission meeting along with supporters Bob Gayle, Ed Robinson, Sandra Wall Garrard, John Garrard, and Doug Willen and spoke during public comment time.

“I’d like to make an announcement. I’m going to run for county commission,” Britain said.

Britain said he would run was because the county allowed developer Expedition Wind to receive conditional use permits to build turbines in the southern portion of the county.

He long has been a vocal opponent of the wind farm, now under construction. He was a plaintiff in several lawsuits against Expedition Wind and a county and a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Expedition Wind against the group that repeatedly filed lawsuits against the company.

Commission chairman David Mueller asked whether Britain was aware of a court order that he stay 100 feet or more away from county zoning director Sharon Omstead, who was scheduled to appear at Monday’s meeting.

The order was issued in 2020 after an incident at a Florence convenience store in which he allegedly made threatening remarks.

He later was charged criminally with violation of an anti-stalking order after he appeared at a commission meeting in May 2121, once again to speak in opposition to the wind farm. He entered a six-month diversion agreement in February.

The ordinance he questions set a process for conditional use permits.

Omstead said Expedition Wind — now Sunflower Wind — made construction applications before deadlines specified in the ordinance.

“They have met the construction obligations for the first five locations thus far, allowing the CUPs to continue,” Omstead said.

In other matters Monday, commissioners:

  • Heard that enrollment for Leadership Marion County would be extended in the hope that more people might sign up.
  • Heard routine updates from Omstead, transfer station director Josh Housman, and road and county engineer Brice Goebel.

Last modified Aug. 11, 2022

 

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