Commissioners agreed to move the conversation to October to give townships more time to gather information.

PORT CLINTON, Ohio — Commissioners in Ottawa County invited the public to talk about wind and solar energy projects Tuesday afternoon. The meeting aimed to gather information and plans from the townships on restrictions on new large solar and wind energy projects before taking action on a resolution that would limit the projects in the county.

Ohio Senate Bill 52Passage of this resolution last year made it possible by giving counties the power to limit new renewable energy projects. Renewable energy developers will need input from townships before approval by the Board of County Commissioners and Ohio Council on Placement of Power.

However, commissioners are moving the meeting back a month to give people more time to take a more informed position.

“This will give everyone enough time,” said Ottawa County Commissioner Mark Koppeler. “If they want to contact their township trustees, they can. They’ll have plenty of time to do that.”

Koppeler said if nothing changes before the next meeting on Oct. 25, the commission will vote on the resolution then.

“If we don’t hear anything from the township trustees that changes what they’ve already presented to us, then we’ll take action on the resolution,” Koppeler said.

Kimberly Kaufman, executive director of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, argued to move the meeting back 30 days because the resolution language was unclear and township trustees needed more time to make an informed decision.

“We would like to have whole communities involved as much as possible in making decisions that can have a big impact on their way of life,” Kaufman said.

She said she’s not opposed to renewable energy, but wants to limit the use of wind turbines in the county because they don’t fit with the county’s rural areas.

“When you move to the country, you don’t think you’re going to live in the shadow of a 700-foot car,” Kaufman said.

Kaufman also said that, most importantly, the turbines would be a problem for the area, which is home to millions of migratory birds. She said the turbines would cause a dangerous decline in bird populations.

“Wind turbines in areas where we have high concentrations of birds would be catastrophic,” Kaufman said. “It’s not that renewable energy, but luckily we have other options.”

Kaufman advocated for solar technology because it fits better with the county’s infrastructure.

The next hearing is Oct. 25 at 9 a.m. at the Ottawa County Courthouse.

RELATED: Lucas County is cleaner after the season of the Toledo Trash League ends

RELATED: Biden administration opens office of environmental justice