Bureau County to fine wind farm developer; Providence Heights violated property codes during tower construction
The Bureau County Board voted in favor of penalizing a rural Tiskilwa wind farm for being in violation of building standards.
The board voted 13 to 5 recently to fine Providence Heights wind farm for not maintaining a proper distance from property lines in setting up seven turbines. While the board agreed on fining the wind farm a maximum of $500 a week per turbine, it did not reach a consensus on the exact amount.
Board member Marcus Throneburg, along with Jim Lilley, Mike Maynard, Bob McCook and Jim Thompson, voted against the motion.
“I felt that the developers were taking steps to bring themselves into compliance after they realized they screwed up,” Throneburg said. “They talked to property owners, bought additional property and were up front about their violations to the county.”
Throneburg said those who voted in favor on the motion didn’t want to set a precedent for other wind-farm developers to violate the ordinance and didn’t think the wind farm had a justifiable excuse for building four turbines too close to property lines, two turbines too close to buildings and not signing agreements with all neighbors.
To help prevent this from happening again, Throneburg confirmed that board members unanimously agreed to require all wind-farm developers to supply the board with a document signed by a surveyor – hired and paid for by the developers – to prove they’ve inspected the turbine foundations to ensure they’re set up correctly.
Representatives for the wind farm could not be reached for comment.
By Catharine Hopkins
15 July 2008
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