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$100 million wind farm receives building permits

Two developers will have to share the winds surrounding a Bureau County wind farm, as the County Board on Tuesday approved building permits for a $100 million project.

The board unanimously approved 42 conditional use permits for Chicago-based Midwest Wind Energy’s Crescent Ridge II project, a 75-megawatt wind farm to be built to the northwest and south of the original Crescent Ridge wind farm in rural Tiskilwa. The farms are all along the Crescent Ridge.

The project received little opposition from landowners near the proposed project, but did receive some negative remarks from the developers of Eurus Crescent Ridge II LLC, which has already received permits for its 64-megawatt wind farm in the same area.

Bob Russell, attorney for Eurus Crescent Ridge II LLC, said Midwest Wind Energy’s project will disrupt wind flow.

This disruption will cause declined wind production at both Eurus’ planned project and also the Crescent Ridge project, resulting in a $4 million revenue loss, Russell said.

However, Midwest Wind Energy President Stefan Noe said the wind disruptions will also occur because of Eurus’ 64-watt project, which will be in the same area.

The Zoning Board of Appeals recommended the board reject 18 of the 42 turbine’s permits because of the objection by Eurus. But the board voted in favor of Midwest Wind Energy.

Noe said he is hoping to begin construction on his project in 2007.

The County Board also adopted a $20.5 million budget for the 2007 fiscal year at the special meeting Tuesday. County Administrator Austin Edmondson said the county’s tax rate should stay at about 82.5 cents per $100 assessed valuation, as the county’s levy increased just slightly to $4.3 million.

They county is carrying over a $900,000 deficit in its General Fund from the 2006 fiscal year, but is in the process of selling the county-owned Prairie View Nursing Home, which ran $1.4 million over budget in 2006.

By Erinn Deshinsky of the Journal Star
686-3041 or state@pjstar.com.