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Commission OKs met towers in northeast Ellis Co.





The Ellis County Joint Planning Commission approved the development plans for four meteorological towers for TradeWind Energy on Wednesday.

They also approved recommending to the county commission it pass the corresponding conditional-use permits.

A 14-day protest period ending Feb. 11 now is in effect for the towers.

The towers would be located in northeast Ellis County, at least 6 miles east of U.S. Highway 183.

Commissioner Kirk Dickinson abstained from discussion on the towers because one will be located on his property.

The towers will be 197 feet tall, according to development manager Aaron Weigel. The company has obtained a five-year lease for the towers and would collect data for at least two years before the company could move forward with a wind project.

TradeWind Energy has not committed to leasing the project yet. If it does so, Weigel said the project would be a minimum of 150 megawatts.

John Herman, a neighbor to one of the met towers, said he would like to see more communication in the county when developments such as the TradeWind project come up.

"I wish there were some way that this commission could make sure that (Public Works Administrator) Mike Graf and road and bridge are really kept informed on all these things," Herman said.

Zoning Administrator Dale Wing said his office tries to relay communication to any county office that might be affected. Wing also said any questions about the project always can be directed to his office.

In other business:

* The commission received comments from its consultant on its proposed zoning regulation changes. The commission requested a public hearing be scheduled for the changes during the March meeting.

* The commission will meet Feb. 25 with two public hearings on its docket. Iberdrola Renewables has requested a conditional-use permit for a met tower in its Saline Wind Project. RCC Atlantic has requested a permit for a communication tower near Victoria.