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Decision on turbines could be made Jan. 24

by David Meyer

MAPLETON TWP. - Council here met behind closed doors again to consider what it will do about last month’s approval of a wind turbine project near Arthur.

Residents opposing NextEra Energy’s Conestogo Wind Energy Centre southwest of Arthur are hoping the township will take part in an appeal that would result in the project approval being fought on two fronts.

NextEra wants to build a 10-turbine, 22-megawatt wind farm southwest of Arthur. Residents in the area have been opposing the project almost since it was announced three years ago.

Preserve Mapleton Incorporated has already filed an appeal of the Ministry of Environment’s approval of the project to an environmental tribunal.

There will be a hearing in Kitchener on Jan. 20 to determine who will take part in the tribunal and what issues will be considered.

The formal hearing is set for Feb. 20 and has an extra day allotted if required.

The residents’ group is hoping Mapleton council will challenge the turbine project’s approval in the courts.

Council is waiting for a report from its lawyer before it makes a decision. Mayor Bruce Whale has said the challenge could come but only if the solicitor believes an appeal can be won. Whale does not like the idea of spending township money unless there is a chance of winning.

Township chief administrative officer Patty Sinnamon said in an interview on Jan. 11 council had made no decision except to wait for a legal opinion, and, “We’re hoping to get a report back for the next council meeting - Jan. 24.”

Sinnamon added that unlike the environmental tribunal appeal that had a deadline within two weeks of the project approval, a judicial appeal does not have such a deadline and that gives council time to make an informed decision.

January 20, 2012

 
 

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