BLOOMINGTON – A road-use agreement for a proposed $250 million wind farm was recommended for approval Tuesday by the transportation committee of the McLean County Board.
Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC has proposed a 100-turbine wind farm to span 12,000 acres of farmland in Woodford and McLean counties. One stipulation for approval of the wind farm is that the company and county reach an agreement on road improvements to be made before and after construction of the wind farm.
The County Board will have the final say on the road agreement at its March 20 meeting.
The wind farm cannot be approved until Invenergy Wind and McLean County sign a road agreement.
“The special-use permit will go to the County Board at the same time the road agreement goes,” said McLean County Engineer Jack Mitchell.
According to Mitchell, the road agreement asks that improvements be made to Ropp Road and County Highway 12.
Improvements for Ropp Road call for 1 1/2 inches of binder and 1 1/2 inches of surface before construction of the wind farm.
Work on County Highway 12 would be done after the wind farm is completed and would include new aggregate surface to repair foreseen damages caused during construction.
Improvements to Ropp Road alone are estimated at $921,000.
Many opponents of the wind farm spoke about road conditions at a series of 13 hearings that began in November. Some residents were concerned Invenergy would leave the roads in worse condition after construction.
Mitchell said the highway department would receive $50,000 per year to handle expenses such as maintenance.
By Holly Richrath
Of The Journal Star
7 March 2007
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