A proposed El Paso wind farm could generate enough electricity to power 24,000 households.
Wanda Davies, a spokeswoman for Minnesota-based Navitas Energy, met recently with the El Paso City Council, the El Paso-Gridley school board and the Secor Village Board to announce a proposed 40-tower wind farm in Palestine and El Paso townships.
If approved, construction on the wind towers could begin next spring.
The development could generate more than $400,000 in property-tax revenue for the school district. It also could create 30 to 50 short-term construction jobs and up to six permanent jobs.
Davies said the company has already received 20-year leases for the farmland with two five-year extension options.
“The board did not take a stand on the project as such but was glad to hear there may be a revenue increase available for the school district if the project moves forward,” school Superintendent Bill James said. “If revenue is indeed generated for the school, that would be a nice benefit for the district without any negative impact from my perspective.
“We will all continue to monitor the situation and hope for good things,” James said.
Navitas still needs approval from state and federal agencies, Woodford County and the township road commissioners.
The county Zoning Board of Appeals is expected to hold hearings in May, and the County Board could vote on a special-use permit in June.
The Board of Appeals also is considering a wind farm request from Chicago-based Invenergy, which is considering developing up to 20 wind towers on 35 parcels in Kansas Township.
The El Paso City Council will discuss the wind farm in a work session at 7 p.m. today.
By Dave Tompkins
23 March 2007
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