MUTUAL – The Union Township Board of Zoning Appeals voted in favor, 3-1, of allowing a wind test tower belonging to Everpower Renewables to be placed on Ault Road, during its meeting Monday night.
According to board member Fred Meyers, one board member removed himself from the discussion and vote for personal reasons.
Meyers said the structure will be 190 feet tall and have three wind measurement devices that will send information to Everpower Renewables.
The information will not be public knowledge as the results will belong to the corporation. Meyers said he was unaware of whether or not Everpower would choose to make the information public.
Meyers stated his belief that, if the test tower shows that there is not enough wind in this area to provide a profit to the company, they will probably leave.
Restrictions imposed on the test tower were: 36 months after its erection the test tower must come down and if the company is unable to do so, it must provide funding to remove it.
Meyers said that there was plenty of time before the vote to hear comments from residents. He said about five people spoke out against the placement of test tower, but more people were in favor of it.
Meyers stressed that the board’s decision to allow the test tower has nothing to do with the placement of actual wind turbines. Those, he said, are a matter for the zoning commission and township trustees to contend with.
Speaking on the subject of turbines, Meyers said the Logan Union Champaign Regional Planning Commission recently rejected recommendations for wind turbine placement that were made by a group of residents.
He said LUC felt the recommendations were too restrictive and would effectively ban turbines from being placed in the township.
The decision to allow turbines now falls to the zoning commission. The Union Township zoning commission will meet on Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. in the Champaign County Community Center to make a decision on the matter.
By Shaun Dunlap
15 May 2007