Geneseo hopes to complete a land purchase by Thursday that will enable it to put up two wind turbines south of Interstate 80.
Mayor Pat Eberhardt said the city is putting final touches on a contract with Robert Bestor and his nephew, William, for the purchase of 26.69 acres south and east of the former Kentucky Fried Chicken.
He said the purchase will be from Bestor Brothers Limited Partnership at a cost of $467,000, or $17,500 an acre.
Mayor Eberhardt said city economic development director Ken Schloemer worked with Robert Bestor on the agreement. Mr. Bestor, and his late brother, Stanley, operated several businesses and farming operations in the Geneseo area through the decades.
‘We had been in business since 1947,’ Mr. Bestor said, adding that he gave the city a good price on the land. ‘I wish them the best.’
In addition to putting 1.5 megawatt wind turbines on the land, the city will develop the excess land as a business and industrial park.
‘That opens up the land south of the interstate,’ Mayor Eberhardt said. ‘It has been stagnant. This will be an opportunity for the city to grow to the south. We’re open to anything.’
‘It’s a good opportunity,’ said Ald. Ed Deener, 1st Ward. ‘The land has frontage to the interstate. Whatever business is built there will be highly visible.’
Ald. Keven Peterson, 4th Ward, said it has always been the city’s dream to have a piece of property contiguous to Interstate 80 for an industrial park. And, he said, the wind turbines will be sort of a landmark that people can identify Geneseo with.
‘I think it would have been foolish not to act on this,’ Ald. Peterson said. ‘It’s the holy grail of industrial parks. The wind turbines will be another part of our energy portfolio.’
Earlier this year, the city was looking at leasing property for the turbines, something Ald. Linda Van Der Leest, 2nd Ward, had concerns about.
In addition, neighbors around the first proposed site west of the city were unhappy with the idea of a wind turbine near their properties.
City utilities manager Ken Stock said earlier this month work could start next spring on the turbines. He said the turbines could be in operation as soon as 2009.
By Stephen Elliott
29 October 2007
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