BLOOMINGTON – A recommendation from the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals on a proposed wind farm near Lexington, Colfax and Chenoa could come Wednesday night.
The ZBA listened to a third night of testimony Tuesday on Horizon Wind Energy LLC’s request for a special-use permit to build the Bright Stalk Wind Farm on about 37,800 acres in Lexington, Lawndale, Chenoa and Yates townships. The hearing will resume at 7 p.m. Wednesday evening in Room 400 of the Government Center in Bloomington. The county board will either accept or reject the recommendation in September or October.
On Tuesday, Paul Kruse, owner and operator of Aerial Crop Service of Colfax, testified the proposed wind farm is within a half-mile of an airstrip runway on his property and could force him out of business.
“I have to be able to take off or land according to the direction of the winds,” Kruse said. “I have to be able to leave and return with an unobstructed path, according to FAA regulations. The proposed placement of the turbines directly disrupts my agriculture business that serves all of McLean County and would likely eliminate me as a competitor to the other agriculture applicators in the county.”
Frank Miles, attorney for Horizon, argued that the turbines wouldn’t be placed on Kruse’s land.
“Why do you think you have the right to fly over someone’s property and not allow that property owner to erect something on their own property?” Miles asked. “Doesn’t the property owner have a right to do that?”
Laurie Sleeter, a rural Lexington resident, described the turbines as “monsters.”
“I am a product of the country,” she said. “My family lived and farmed for five generations and is used to the world being flat. Farmland is what is important to me. Most of my neighbors don’t want them.”
Keith Winterland, a rural Colfax resident said one of the proposed towers would be located within 1,500 feet of his residence.
“I am concerned about our quality of life,” he said. “There will be a lot of flicker, and the wind as it goes through propeller makes a swishing sound like a jet. I am not too enthused about these turbines. How would you like it if someone put a wind turbine in your backyard?”
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