OSAGE COUNTY (KSNT) – Osage County hosted a public hearing Thursday night allowing wind farms in the area.
Dozens of resident on both sides of the issue packed the Osage County Courthouse to voice their opinions on the proposal.
Proponents say installing a turbine farm would bring a huge economic boost to the community. A spokeswoman for the Auburn Harvest Wind Project says they’re ready to make an estimated $330 million dollar investment in Osage County. She said the company anticipates the project would bring in more than $50 million in tax revenue for the county and dozens of short term and permanent jobs.
Quaney Farms President Jean Quaney says the project should be considered because it would help alleviate the tax burden on all Osage County residents.
“If we’re not going to allow this business in, what business are we going to try and attract to keep these crippling taxes off of not just the farmers, but everyone who owns a house, a car, a boat, any of those things,” said Quaney.
Opponents expressed concern over the impact to the local environment and its wildlife. Resident Susan Atchison says she believes a wind farm would take land way from local farmers and permanently change the landscape.
“It also affects the animals that are being raised there, and I’ve heard of weight gain and reproductive issues, and also the price of our land depreciating when people don’t want to move there. They won’t want to move next to a wind turbine,” said Atchison.
Osage County commissioners took no action at tonight’s meeting. The next public meeting is scheduled for Oct. 24. There may be a final decision made at that meeting.