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Nearly 50 people in red shirts showed their opposition to a proposed Morton Township wind farm during a Burleigh County Commission meeting Monday night. Seated from the left, in the front row, are Durant Schiermeister, Jayce Doan and KariAnn Buntrock. Will Kincaid / Bismarck Tribune

Central North Dakota wind farm permits denied

BISMARCK — The Burleigh County Commission voted 4-1 Monday, Jan. 7, to deny special use permits in Morton Township for the proposed Burleigh-Emmons Wind Farm, as recommended by the county planning and zoning board.

Prior to the vote, the commission considered sending the matter back to planning and zoning, as requested by Pure New Energy USA, the company proposing to develop the 70-turbine wind farm in southern Burleigh and northern Emmons counties.

“I think this has gone on long enough … I just don’t feel comfortable sending it back and creating more workload for our people,” said Commissioner Kathleen Jones.

Courtney Timmons, PNE's director of business development, said he’s “very disappointed” with the decision.

Laurie Rogstad, a landowner in both Burleigh and Emmons counties, said she was excited about the commission’s decision.

"Hopefully, we can put this to rest and get back to normal,” she said.

Proponent Ryan Dralle, a third-generation Morton Township farmer, said the project would’ve helped his family financially.

“PNE has followed the rules. We, as landowners, have followed the rules but apparently that’s not enough,” he said.

PNE will continue to develop the project, Timmons said after the meeting.