Discussion Continues on Potential Wind Turbine Farm in Henry County

A public hearing was held at the Henry County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, January 30th, to discuss the ordinance discussing wind and solar energy.

Updated map detailing those who have agreed to potentially placing a wind turbine on their property

Greg Moeller, the chairman, read the entirety of Title 6, Chapter 2, Article 11-2 through 11-6 Alternative Energy Overlay District Ordinance. Afterwards, a public hearing was held where the public let their concerns known.

A citizen let the board know that he believes windmills will hurt wildlife and livestock in the area. Another mentioned how the possible 650ft tower is taller than the St. Louis Arch.

An RWE representative spoke up, revealing that the height of the windmill depends on the manufacturer. The taller the windmill, the less they will need to put in Henry County. It seems the smallest mentioned was around 500ft tall, while the largest is 650ft.

Somebody asked the question that many were thinking, “do we have any say?” It must be stated clearly that this was simply a public hearing and reading of the ordinance. Joe Buffington, the Planning and Zoning Director, said that 95% of this ordinance already exists, and that they just tweaked small things. There will be multiple meetings on this. The Planning and Zoning Commission will have many meetings, and then recommend to the Board of Supervisors if they believe it should be recommended. Then, the Board of Supervisors will hold public hearings and 3 readings for the actual approval. This is NOT a done deal.

Supervisor Chad White let the room know that he would like to see public hearings held at different times of the day, because he knows that many people interested in this work at 9:00am.

A concerned citizen made sure that the board knows he wants local labor for this potential project. If it is to go through, he wants the jobs to be open for people living in our county and surrounding area, rather than allowing the work to be given to others not in or area.

Someone who lives on the county line of Henry and Washington brought up how those who live just into Washington County will see the turbines without reaping any of the benefits. This same citizen also wanted to bring up the fact that quality of life will be impacted. She said that she wants to hear the birds, not turbines.

Moeller finished with saying that in his 11 years as a supervisor, he has never seen this many people at a meeting. The room was completely full, standing room only, while many more stood in the lobby. He urged the public to go to the public hearings. An RWE representative mentioned how they will gladly hold another town hall for this, after one was held in October of 2022.

February 15th is the date for the first reading of the ordinance.

There will be many more questions and answers provided as these discussions continue.

The public has been told they can reach out to the Henry County Supervisors, detailing how they feel about the potential wind farm project in Henry County. Their email is supervisors@henrycountyiowa.us

Additional photos of community members who have signed contracts are listed below.

Previous coverage and additional information:

Henry County Proposed Site for 50-90 Wind Turbines