Sharon MacDonald of Carlock told the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals a majority of the residents in the area of a proposed 100-turbine wind farm oppose it.
She based the comment on petitions passed around by her and other members of a nonprofit group – called Information is Power – in White Oak and Dry Grove townships and other areas in McLean County.
MacDonald said 77 out of 112 people asked in White Oak Township signed the petition. Another 48 signed a petition that included people in Dry Grove Township, Bloomington, Normal and Hudson.
Fellow Carlock resident Janet Suhr asked MacDonald how many registered voters are in White Oak Township and how MacDonald determined what residences not to visit.
MacDonald said she thought there were about 620 registered voters. She said she only took the petition to houses owned by people who will not have a wind turbine on their property. And of those residences, MacDonald said she did not approach relatives of people who have contracted with Invenergy for a turbine, anyone who has voiced strong support of the project or any township officials.
MacDonald was one of several to testify in opposition of the proposed wind farm Wednesday.
While she said she wasn’t an expert, “I don’t have to be an expert; I live inside the boundary area.”
MacDonald has several concerns. She said she traveled to the wind farm near Paw Paw and thought the turbines “sounded like traffic noise from a busy interstate.”
“I don’t want tourists,” she said. “I want to be left alone. I don’t want the crime tourists might attract.”
She said the light flicker from the blades passing through the sunlight at Paw Paw was almost like a strobe light and happened about every minute.
“Light flicker from the west could destroy our evening,” she said, referring to the proposed White Oak project.
She also maintains wind turbines can be deadly because they can catch on fire or be felled by a tornado. Pictures MacDonald tried to show were not accepted because they came from the Internet.
Cindy Lorimor, a board member of Information is Power and Carlock resident, said she supports wind energy – but not in populated areas – and is concerned about a “large wind power company moving in amongst all these neighbors.”
Robin Moore of Carlock argued the wind turbines would increase noise, reduce the number of birds and bats in the area, change the views and character of her home and reduce her television reception.
She also doesn’t like the idea of putting up with road construction for three weeks or driving past the turbines once they are up.
“We never would have moved out to this community if the turbines were here or proposed,” said Moore.
Wind farm hearing
What: McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals hearings on the proposed White Oak Wind Energy Center
When: 6 p.m. Monday (May continue Wednesday and Thursday)
Where: Room 400, Government Center, 115 E. Washington St., Bloomington
On the Web: Testimony from all the wind farm hearings is available for downloading from the county’s Web site: www.co.mclean.il.us
By Mary Ann Ford
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