Dawson County residents raise property value concerns with new wind energy developments

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (Nebraska) – Property values ​​were among the concerns of Dawson County residents during a recent City Hall discussion regarding wind energy developments that may come to the county.

The new development would see wind turbines introduced into Dawson County from the Buffalo county line 19 miles west of the county line in areas near Sumner, Eddyville and Miller.

County residents met at the Gothenburg Public Library on Monday to discuss the project, which has so far gone quietly forward. The meeting, led by Eddyville resident Matt McTygue, discussed leases that some residents have received or signed regarding land use for wind turbines. A petition also made its way through the crowds calling for County Commissioners and the Zoning Commission to impose restrictions on the location of turbines in the county.

Koby Rickertsen, owner of RE/MAX Home, Farm & Ranch, told News 2 that wind energy developments can have a positive and negative effect on property values. One of the things Rickertsen said to look for with these properties is that the lease is valid and in use. The lease provides financial compensation to the property owner for using their land in the event of installing a turbine. In the case of the proposed Dawson County developments, the owners would receive $4,000 per megawatt produced by the turbine, for a total of about $12,000 annually.

“What I look for, whether the lease is good, will help the value of the property, has to be done right,” Rickertsen said. “There are a lot of questions that need to be answered because so many of the projects are a problem. The reason people are afraid of them is that there are windmills sitting there and not being used, and nobody knows how they’re going to get rid of them.”

Other causes for concern among residents included the noise a wind turbine can create, as well as the possibility of shadows flickering over a building if the turbine isn’t located far enough away. Rickertsen said the turbine’s location can drive down property values, especially if the turbine is not properly decommissioned or demolished.

The next available public comment for the community is a joint meeting of Dawson County Commissioners and the Zoning Commission in Lexington on March 14.

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