Commissioners Voted Out In Clinton Co. To Deal Last Blows At Wind Meeting

Dec 14, 2016

Clinton County has had a wind ordinance for years, but since turbines were proposed in the eastern part of the county, there's been a lot of bluster about them.
Credit Sarah Altendorf / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarah_elizabeth_simpson/

Two of the three Clinton County Commissioners who will consider the future of the county’s wind energy ordinance Thursday won’t be in office to see it decided.

That’s because both Bert Weaver – who declined a taped interview -- and Cory Boyles – who didn’t return repeated calls seeking comment -- lost their primary races in May. They’ll be replaced at the start of the New Year.

But even if both men try to scuttle wind farm development in the county, it’s unlikely they’ll have the last word.

“A lot of people think that Thursday night is the end-all either way," says Commissioners President Scott Shoemaker. "That’s just not the case.”

Shoemaker is the lone current member who won reelection. He says the ordinance has been volleyed back and forth between the commissioners and the Area Plan Commission for several months and that process is likely to continue.

Shoemaker says he hasn’t made up his mind whether to support wind farm development in the county. He says he’s trying to balance the concerns of opponents with the possibility for economic development.

“You know, I’ve been working with those against it to see what could be in the ordinance that would not necessarily shut an operation from ever happening, but would also be, in their minds, fair,” he says.

Shoemaker says some Indiana counties have drawn up language that’s so stringent, it makes wind development all but impossible. The meeting will take place at 6:30 Thursday evening at the county fairgrounds.