PEORIA COUNTY, Ill — A Peoria county couple’s plan to build a wind turbine on their property was effectively shut down at Thursday nights county board meeting. George and Kim Blackburn had hoped to build a 70 foot windmill in their backyard using grant money.
The problem is the couple only receives that funding if the project is completed by next month. Tonight the County board voted to send their request back to the zoning board to further study possible effects to wildlife along the Illinois River.
Neighbors who spoke against the Turbine say that they are in favor of alternative forms of energy but not at a cost to wildlife.
Ted Rogers, a neighbor of the Blackburns said, “It needs to be built but not on the river. I think the river is too important to natural resource. We need to preserve the beauty and we need to develop it further and not endanger it.”
George Blackburn said, “I can understand people being concerned but if you read and research you’ll see that it’s not going to harm wildlife. I’ve had one up at my shop for three years and I don’t think its knocked a bug out of the sky let alone a bird.”
Board members also approved a salary freeze for themselves and elected officials for the coming year.
Elected officials however would still see a 2 percent increase the following three years. The board chairman will receive an increase of $500 per year.