Windfarm proposal heads to Harvey County Commission

While the county commission could consider the proposal next month, some in residents strongly oppose the development.
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 11:04 PM CDT
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HARVEY COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) - Harvey County Commissioners will soon have the final say in a proposed renewable energy project that would include wind turbines. A planning and zoning board signed off on the plan during a lengthy meeting Wednesday night.

While the county commission could consider the proposal next month, some Harvey County residents strongly oppose the development.

The Kansas wind blows through the Umholtz Farmstead located north of Burrton, but the family worries tall wind turbines may soon change their view.

“It felt so surreal. Surely not, we never thought that would come to fruition,” said Jenny Maline, a member of the Umholtz family.

The biggest concerns about the project include potential health effects, how it will affect water supply and property values. Moreover, the project is pitting neighbor against neighbor.

“It’s causing distrust and causing animosity where there never was before. Nothing is worth that,” Saundra Traywick, another Umholtz family member.

They’ve been working to spread the word around the planned project area with other farmers and landowners, even state representatives are joining their cause.

NextEra, the company behind the project, has already made offers to some landowners, but the Umholtz say their neighbors have rejected them.

“The more they have found about it, they have turned it down. They said no, we are joining with my parents and against these things. We have one neighbor friend, she said ‘no, I would never do it to my neighbor,’” said Umholtz family member, Tammy Manlove.

The Harvey County Commission holds a weekly meeting on Tuesdays at 9 a.m.