A Dubuque County couple trying to get permission to erect a wind turbine on their property is one step closer to their goal. The Dubuque County Supervisors gave the couple its permission last (Monday) night. Kathy and Fritz White want to put the turbine on their eight-acre property to provide electricity for their home.

But members of the Dubuque County Audubon Society like Charles Winterwood are fighting the project. Winterwood says too many birds and bats flying near the Mississippi River could be killed by the turbine’s rotating blades.

“Wind energy in regards to bird and bat mortality is like real estate — it’s location, location, location,” Winterwood says. “The Mississippi River is one of the four major fly-ways for migratory birds in the country.”

The Dubuque County Zoning Commission wrote rules earlier this year which would have prevented the couple from erecting their wind turbine. “It’s discriminatory against my wife and I,” White says. “It’s written in such a way that you could have been standing on my site and come up with a code that would prevent me from putting up a wind system.”

White appeared before the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors last night, and the board rewrote the ordinance proposed by the County Zoning Commission so the Whites can put up a turbine. Now the Whites must go before the Dubuque County Board of Adjustments and ask for a special use permit.