Morton Township ND – The North Dakota countryside is littered with farms of all shapes and sizes.
But it it’s a new type of proposed farm south of Bismarck that has residents of one Burleigh County township at odds with each other…a wind farm.
Morton Township may not have the most people in it, but many of those who live here have come out in force against a proposal by Pure New Energy to erect over 70 wind turbines across southern Burleigh County and into Emmons County, southeast of Bismarck…there’s even a Facebook group against the project.
I spoke with nearly a dozen people this morning who tell me they have a laundry list of concerns about the project.
Literally, I had one out of 30 people in the last two weeks say, well, it’s green energy, it’s good stuff, you know, but, the other 29 say I can’t believe their gonna do something like this in this area.” said business owner Travis Schweitzer.
Residents tell me these turbines will be much larger than ones we’re used to seeing in the region, these will tower over 500 feet above the landscape…for perspective that’s over twice the size of the state capitol building.
“This is the flight path for the Bismarck Airport, the planes come floating right through here, ummm, and you’ve also got issues with the project would stretch from the Missouri River basically all the way over to Long Lake, so it’s right in the center of the flyway” said Andy Buntrock with the No Burleigh Wind Campaign.
If you drive along any of the roads here in Morton Township, you’re sure to see signs put up by residents voicing their displeasure against the wind farm project, now in fact, residents in Emmons County have created postcards which you can mail to your county commissioner to voice your displeasure with the project.
But not everyone thinks the Wind farm is a bad idea, David Day owns a ranch in Morton Township that’s been here since 1882, and tells me, it’s nothing but a benefit for the area.
“The County gets a big influx of money, so that will keep a hold on property taxes, the fire department gets money, the ambulance crew gets money, the Libraries get money, it isn’t just for the land owners it’s a big chunk of change for the community itself.” Said Rancher David Day.
Cody and Medora Kologi are in their early 20s, newly married, with a child, but they tell me they’re not interested in money from the Wind company and tell KX News…
“The money is not what’s important to us, it’s the future of our family, and the future of our community and the growth and development of Bismarck that’s important to us. And yeah, free money is great, but it’s not, it’s not everything”.
Complicating matters more, Burleigh County Commissioners have been forced to take over the matter because of conflict of interest issues with Morton Township leaders that have signed contracts with PNE wind, creating a conflict of interest.
Next up, a public meeting on the plan is scheduled for Wednesday at 5:15 at the City-County Building in Bismarck.