No moratorium on wind farms

COLUMBIA CITY — Residents opposed to the installation of windmill facilities in Whitley County have been keeping their fingers on the pulse of local government in recent months — particularly the Whitley County Plan Commission and the county’s Board of Zoning Appeals.There have been many common themes in the opposition to the possible arrival of wind farms.One of those has been a call for a moratorium on wind farms until the proper zoning ordinance can be drafted.Ironically, the plan commission was in the process of doing just that late last year when those same opponents derailed the process with a little help from an error in judgment by a commission member.On Monday, the Whitley County Board of Commissioners decided there would be no moratoriums on wind farms.County Attorney Dan Sigler addressed the commission during its regular meeting and told the board he found about three or four similar cases where the decisions (to enact a moratorium) were overturned during the appeals process.“There’s no clear indication to the fact the ruling would be any different (for Whitley County),” Sigler said.“I think it’s something that personally, you want to stay away from,” he added.Commission Chair Tom Rethlake reflected the opinions of the other two board members and the attorney.“We don’t want to do anything right now,” he said. “Things are moving right along progressively with the plan commission.”The commission also signed the contract with Ground Rules, Inc. to do a study that will be the basis for the drafting of a new wind ordinance.In addition, a steering committee was formed and was endorsed by the three-man board.