The Livingston County Board learned details at its Thursday meeting of a filing late last Friday that will seek to erect 323 wind turbines in the county along two sides of Cayuga Ridge.
Heartland Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of PPM Energy, filed two wind-energy conversion system (WECS) applications on June 8.
The first application is for approval to construct and operate up to 154 turbines south and southeast of Interstate 55, along Cayuga Ridge. This will be known as Cayuga Ridge South Wind Project.
The second application is for up to 169 turbines north and west of I-55, along the ridge and will be known as Cayuga Ridge North Ridge Project. This will make a total of 323 turbines in Livingston County.
Copies of the applications are on file and presently are available for inspection in the office of the Livingston County Clerk.
Beginning on Friday, June 22, copies will be available for review or inspection at the following locations: the Odell Village Hall, the Odell State Bank, the Dwight Village Hall and the Pontiac Public Library.
“Since the county board will ultimately make a decision concerning the applications filed in Livingston County, the county board members have been advised that they should not make any public comments which explicitly or implicitly endorses or rejects any WECS application pending before the Livingston County Zoning Board of Appeals,” said Ag and Zoning Committee Chairman Jeanne Rapp.
Rapp further explained that this was the same criteria followed when Livingston Landfill was seeking expansion at its Rowe site.
“Board members have been further instructed by counsel that they cannot discuss the matter with members of the public and are to rely upon the evidence presented at the hearings before the Zoning Board of Appeals in making their decision. The Zoning Board of Appeals will conduct public hearings and all members of the public are encouraged to attend the hearings and present evidence concerning their position. The restrictions involving public contact with board members also applies to the Zoning Board of Appeals members,” said Rapp.
Rapp said the time and location will be publicly announced in the future and it will likely be some time in the late summer or fall.
The board also authorized the Ag and Zoning Committee to hire a consultant for the WECS sightings. Zoning Administrator Chuck Schopp said the county had thus far only been contacted by one Springfield firm that does this kind of work but the committee would set up an interview with the firm.
By Sheila Shelton
15 June 2007
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