At its Jan. 26 meeting, the Wright County Board of Commissioners voted to implement an emergency moratorium on the construction and development of solar farms in the county. The moratorium could be kept in place for as much as one year as a study group would be convened to look at the solar farm ordinance and see where it could be improved four years after implementing the county’s first solar farm ordinance.
“The idea is to get a cross section of people involved or impacted in the solar farm process to go over the ordinance to find out what works and what needs to be tweaked or changed,” Commissioner Darek Vetsch said. “The plan was to have a similar group that was brought together for the first solar ordinance – Planning Commission members, township representatives, a citizen member and those involved in the solar industry. The goal is to have representation from as many different parts of the county as possible.”
At the Feb. 16 County Board meeting, the solar work group was approved and includes membership from all five commissioner districts. The work group is as follows:
County Board – Vetsch (District 2) and Mike Kaczmarek (District 5).
Planning Commission – Corey Tanner (District 3), Ken Felger (District 4). Alternate: Dan Bravinder (District 5).
Townships – Don Schmidt, Buffalo Township (District 1), Pete Stuper, Monticello Township (District 2) and John Czanstowski, Franklin Township (District 5).
Citizen – Harlan Anderson (District 5).
Solar industry – Evan Carlson (IPS Solar Inc.), Rob Schultz (Minnesota Native Landscapes), Dean Lieschow (Sunrise Energy Ventures) and David Watts (United States Solar Corp.).
The first meeting of the solar work group is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 24 with the goal of completing the updating of the ordinance by autumn.