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Letter: Solar doesn't belong in Wacouta wetland

My name is Marcia Krause and I am a Wacouta Township resident. I have lived in the same home for almost 55 years. I attended the Goodhue County commissioner meeting Tuesday, March 21, where the proposed Wildwood Community Solar Garden was on the agenda. I have many concerns in regards to this proposed solar garden.

Mark Andrew, from GreenMark Solar, as the applicant, and Howard Stenerson, the landowner, discussed with the board what their plan entails. "The goal is to generate clean, renewable energy," Andrew said.

"I want control of that property, that's why I have a lease on it," Stenerson said. "I've ran it for 22 years now."

So, Mr. Stenerson is leasing the property and is not the owner?

I have watched the attempted operation by Mr. Stenerson of this property for 22 years. I've watched tractor after tractor having to be pulled out of the Wildwood wetland. In 2016, I saw equipment being used to document the wetland bog down and get stuck, needing to be pulled out by larger equipment that was stationed on dry ground. I've watched the rendering plant truck come to remove a horse and dead cattle that were unable to navigate in the wetland.

The project would entail installing 22,410 solar panels within a 43.1 acre wetland in Wacouta Township along Highway 61.

Highway 61 from the Twin Cities south, beyond Winona, is known as a scenic highway and there are no other solar gardens on this scenic highway.

This proposed project is to be in place for 25 years, after that time it is not viable. What exactly happens to the destroyed wetland at that point in time?

If in the future I choose to sell my home, what potential buyer would consider purchasing the property with that eyesore in the front yard?

Marcia Krause, Wildwood Lane

Wacouta Township

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