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County Commissioners uphold test tower approval

Dakota Power Community Wind won approval from Lincoln County Commissioners Tuesday evening to install a group of test towers to gather meteorlogical data that could help determine the best layout of a wind farm.

Lincoln County Commissioners voted Tuesday evening, July 21, to deny an appeal of the planning and zoning board’s May approval of five temporary test towers for Dakota Power Community Wind.

About 50 people occupied the audience section of the commissioner’s meeting room at the Lincoln County Courthouse in Canton for the hearing, with a dozen offering testimony for the opposition and four speaking as proponents.

After listening to all who wished to speak on the matter, members of the commission board — minus Dave Gillespie, who is a landowner within the Dakota Power Community Wind project area — debated the merits of both sides of the issue.

Opponents continually voiced concerns over the disruption the test towers will bring to their lives and the potential drop in the value of their properties that could follow. Some fear the test towers, which will gather meteorological data, signal one less roadblock to the eventual wind farm that Dakota Power wants to construct.

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