Upcoming meeting to address wind leasing
OSCEOLA COUNTY — Property owners north of Evart have been approached about possibly leasing their land for wind energy.Gary Carmichael, manager and owner of Carmichael Farms LLC., said he was approached by a wind energy representative in November about the possibility of leasing some of his land. "They are looking to lease property for three years," Carmichael said. "They want to explore the feasibility of a possible wind farm." According to Carmichael, shortly after his initial meeting with the energy representative his neighbors in the community began calling and asking for his opinion on the matter. "They wanted to know what I thought," he said. "I feel we all need to be up to speed together about this." Carmichael said that it was determined to bring in help from people who already have experience with leasing land for wind farms. An educational meeting on wind leasing will be held at 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, at the Hartwick Township Hall, located at 10823 Fifteen Mile Road in Evart. The meeting initiated by property owners who were approached to lease their land for wind energy are hoping for answers to their questions. The meeting is being coordinated by the Michigan State University Extension office of Osceola County said extension educator Jerry Lindquist. According to Lindquist, the interest for wind energy land lease are from property owners in Osceola and Hartwick townships. "Most the people have already been approached by the company," Lindquist said. "We are holding this meeting because land owners have questions about the procedures." The meeting is designed to educate property owners about what they should take into consideration when leasing their land for wind development. The presentation will be led by Dennis Stein, MSU Extension farm management educator and Trent Hilding, an attorney from Ithaca. Each speaker has extensive experience in advising land owners in Michigan’s thumb and central Michigan areas on wind leasing. "I think the representative is a good guy, but I want to know more," Carmichael said. "The terms of the lease are 50 years and if you don't make a good decision you have to live with it for a long time." There is no charge to attend the meeting and pre-registration is not required. For more information about the meeting, contact the Osceola County MSU Extension office at (231) 832-6139.