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'Agricultural districts' in way of windfarm  

Some Putnam landowners must seek withdraw

Some Putnam County landowners who want their property to be part of a proposed wind energy project will have to withdraw at least parts of it from “agricultural districts” set up to restrict its use to farming, the County Board was told Monday.

The county has three such districts, established in the 1980s and 1990s, and they extensively overlap the area where a Kansas firm is considering the construction of 80 to 100 wind turbines, county zoning officer Jim Burger said.

Although the landowners voluntarily placed their property in the restricted districts under terms of a state law designed to preserve farmland, they would now have to get permission from a special county committee to withdraw any land that would be used in the project being considered by Trade Wind Energy, Burger said.

To put the process in place, the County Board will need to appoint a committee consisting of farmers and a board member to hold a hearing and make the decision on removing the land, Burger said. Members of the committee serving in 1999, the last time land was added to a district, are no longer able to serve.

“It’s not that big a deal (for owners to withdraw),” Burger said. “It’s just paperwork they have to go through.”

Trade Wind, which is based in the Kansas City area, got a permit last month to erect a meteorological tower south of Granville. The involved area would extend from Mark in a southeasterly direction across Interstate 39 and into LaSalle County.

By Gary L. Smith

Peoria Journal Star

11 March 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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