A federal judge in Oklahoma City has set a May hearing date in the legal fight between the city of Hinton and a wind energy company.
U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot on Monday set May 12 at 3 p.m. for a hearing to consider a motion by Hinton to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it by Minco Wind IV and Minco Wind V LLC, two firms fighting Hinton’s move in January to prevent the construction of wind towers within a 2-mile radius outside city limits.
The two wind farm LLCs are owned by NextEra Energy Resources Inc. and filed suit in February challenging the new ordinance. Hinton adopted the ordinance in January and declared the “construction, maintenance and modification of Industrial Wind Energy Conversion Systems within the town of Hinton and within two miles of the Town to be a public nuisance.”
The city argues Minco Wind IV and V have no interest in the case or controversy and “do not have standing to bring this action.” It also contends the challenge “to the actions of the Hinton Regional Planning Commission were filed too late.”
Attorneys for Minco Wind IV and V are seeking more than $75,000 in damages stating the ordinance “directly harms Plaintiffs’ property interests in the Minco Projects.” They contend the lawsuit was filed within 30 days after the ordinance’s passage and is timely.
Judge Friot will decide.
But in Hinton, city leaders still contend they have a legal right to take the steps they did. It’s what they told News 9’s Karl Torp this week.