On Monday, March 22, Ford County issued Ford Ridge Wind building permits to begin construction. Complete copies of the building permits can be found here.
As reported by WCIA News, zoning officer Brandon Magers stated that,
“After consulting with the States Attorney, we felt it was best our interests to issue the permit because we didn’t have evidence to fight it. We felt it would be irresponsible to cost (taxpayers) more money when we didn’t have proper evidence to go against what they were trying to do.”
According to the Ford County Chronicle,
"Magers said he decided to issue the building permits after reviewing the materials that Apex Clean Energy submitted in support of its appeal. 'In reviewing the materials … it became clear that, due to the actions on behalf of the county over the last 12 years, it was unlikely that my initial decision would be supported at the ZBA appeal hearing, much less if challenged in court,' Magers said. Magers said he felt his hands were tied. Magers noted that he has 'a duty to the taxpayers, landowners and developers to follow the law, even when I personally take issue with the process... [and] after consulting with the prior zoning enforcement officer, other zoning administrators and … Andrew Killian, the Ford County state’s attorney, it became clear that the facts and law were on Apex’s side, limiting my options greatly.'"