The winds may maybe changing on some multi-million dollar wind farm developments in the area.
There’s concern in Carlock that wind turbines being too close to town will cut off future growth.
But one farmer, who will have three turbines on his 150 acres, says that’s not so.
Lee Ruegsegger said, “I’ve been there for 18 years and I really don’t see why they want to put a stink up about this. I think it’s the best thing that’s happened to Carlock. It’s going to bring in money for them. Plus, it’s my property.”
Similar concerns are popping up in Livingston County with the wind farm near Chatsworth.
But, the project with the biggest question mark may be in Benson where townships are concerned about their roads.
The Woodford County Administrators says that concern may kill the project.
Woodford County Administrator Greg Jackson said, “We are greatly concerned. It’s huge. It’s absolutely huge. We have never seen anything with this magnitude before.”
Jackson says if wind farms start to fill these fields that the local economy will turn electric.
“We’re setting the tone on what we do with this economic development for future economic development. We’re courting potential ethanol development to Woodford County.”
Currently, there are seven wind farms of some sort in the area. Three are operating near Interstate 80.
One is under construction just east of Bloomington. And, not much flak has been made on the wind farm just north of Peoria along the Marshall-Stark County border.
But, Invenergy is developing two of the wind farms that are creating controversy.
Invenergy’s Joel Link said, “Neither of the projects are in jeopardy. That’s why we’re moving along, continuing our development activities. There’s always project issues. Different stakeholders have different concerns and it’s our job to sit down and work those out.”
Link hopes to answer some of the questions at public forums like this.
But, if the wind project is blown over, farmers like Lee Ruegesegger will be out a couple thousand dollars and Woodford County may lose at least a million dollars in taxes.
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