C.A.R.E. looks at alternative forms of energy; Union Neighbors United seeks to influence zoning regulations for alternative energy.
State officials are pushing hard for alternative energy in Ohio and in Champaign County, wind turbines could eventually dot the landscape.
Meanwhile, Champaign County residents are not sitting idle while these proposals move forward. At least two groups have been formed to provide differing, but not necessarily conflicting viewpoints on alternative energy in the county.
One of those projects that would affect local residents is the Buckeye Wind Project, which would build wind turbines in both Champaign and Logan Counties. The project, proposed by Everpower Renewables in New York, is in its planning stages for development in eastern Champaign County. Most recently, a group called C.A.R.E. – Champaign Advocates for Renewable Energy – was formed to promote alternative forms of energy and to host monthly seminars about the topic, said Dale Thompson, a local resident and group spokesman.
C.A.R.E. hosted its first seminar this month, drawing about more than 100 residents for a presentation by Dale Arnold, head of the Division of Energy for the Ohio Farm Bureau. The next seminar is planned for April 21 at the Champaign County Community Center.
Union Neighbors United wants to influence local politicians to focus on zoning regulations for alternative energy sources.
Julie Johnson, a member of the group, stressed that they are in favor of alternative energy in general. Members even attended the recent seminar hosted by individuals from C.A.R.E., she said.
Johnson said the group simply want local officials to be careful when creating zoning regulations for alternative energy sources. Zoning has been the focus of the group, she said. Organizers in Union Neighbors United were able to place a referendum on November’s ballot challenging the townships’s zoning regulations.
C.A.R.E. and Union Neighbors United plan to continue focusing attention on their issues as similar proposals move forward in the county.
“As long as there’s a need for this type of information, we’ll continue,” said Thompson of C.A.R.E.
By Matt Sanctis
30 March 2008
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