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Adams County wind energy debate not over yet

The majority of the Adams County Board seems satisfied with the wind energy proposal approved in August.
The board last week refused to send a request to review two additional revisions.
The Advocates for Responsible Energy Development were hoping the board would consider reviewing its proposal to increase the wind turbine setback from one-fourth of a mile to one-half a mile. Representatives also asked that communities have a 1.5-mile authority to limit turbines unless communities decided to waive it.
Robert Scott, chairman of the Transportation Building and Technology Committee, said it was ridiculous to review changes after it was just approved and the committee had worked on the ordinance for six months.
The debate of wind energy in Adams County is not over, as communities look at the options they have to control developments around them. There will also be siting hearings before any construction were to begin.
Acciona Energy North America has been developing the $300 million Prairie Mills Wind Farm with Global Winds Harvest in the Camp Point, Clayton and Golden vicinity. All three communities have taken initial steps to limit the construction around them, in accordance with state law.
Clayton held a public hearing in August to hear comments on regulating wind turbines within its boundaries and the 1.5-mile radius surrounding the village’s zoning jurisdiction. Both proponents and opponents spoke out on wind energy, and the Clayton Zoning Board of Appeals is meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday to review the testimony provided at the hearing. The issue is currently tabled under a two-month moratorium, with October being the earliest village trustees can make a decision.
In June, the Camp Point Village Board passed an ordinance temporarily prohibiting the development of wind turbines within the zoning jurisdiction.
Golden village trustees also voted last week on a proposal that gets the gears moving on prohibiting turbines in the area. Golden may have to enact zoning and a comprehensive plan for such restrictions.
It is hard to blame the communities for exercising their rights as the turbines could technically be in just outside their limits.
However, you can’t blame the county and landowners for support of wind development. Farmers would be able to get supplemental income for allowing turbines on their property, and the county and more than a half-dozen other taxing bodies would see a boost to their revenues, with more than half going to local schools.
The revisions approved last month were an approach to try to balance interests with concerned residents and the development in order to not run off a $300 million investment. Public hearings on the topic will continue as the development moves forward and as communities move forward.
More than a few tears have been spilled in this debate, and it will likely continue.