Glad PI voting on turbine ordinance

Last week, the Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners set Aug. 6 as the date many of its residents will vote on the county’s zoning ordinance related to wind turbines.

For several months, a company called Sstar Ridge-Run Energy has worked to collect the leases it needs to erect a 100-megawatt wind energy project in Moltke Township. Township residents Mike and Stefani Schulte, however, were concerned about the effect the project would have on their property, and collected enough signatures to force the new ordinance to a vote of the people.

Voters in Rogers City and Onaway and in Presque Isle, Kracow and Allis townships will not vote, because those governments have their own zoning ordinances.

The Presque Isle County board had considered waiting until 2020 to put the ordinance in front of voters, but, last week, acting on the advice of their attorney, moved the vote up to this summer.

We take no position on the ordinance itself or wind turbines in general, because we believe those decisions are ones best left to the residents who have to have — or get to have, depending on your outlook — those turbines in their back yards.

But that belief is why we’re glad the issue is heading to the polls sooner rather than later.

By all accounts, the Schultes did everything by the book and exercised their rights as Presque Isle County residents to try to enact change through the government that represents them.

Maybe their neighbors will disagree with them and rubber-stamp the ordinance county commissioners originally approved.

But they shouldn’t have to wait two years to find that out.