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The Winona County board approved changes Tuesday to an ordinance that regulates the use of solar energy in the county.

While some of the original proposed changes made by the Planning Commission were removed from the final version, overall the changes will likely help enable more solar energy locations to be allowed in the county.

The ordinance changes gained the support of many community members. They had the chance in December to express their opinions on the amendments during a public hearing.

A key change, among a few others, includes the possibility of allowing solar energy gardens onto prime soil in the county, usually used for growing crops.

Many speakers during the public hearing presented their desire for the clean energy source to be used more in the area, which they believe could help the environment.

Others expressed the need for the financial gain of having solar energy resources in the communities.

It was also suggested that solar energy panels in the area would be a good sight to see compared to other options.

Some stressed concerns about allowing more opportunities for solar gardens in the county, especially when it comes to allowing them onto prime soils that could be used instead for crops and other farming opportunities.

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