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Woodford revisits wind farm permits

EUREKA – Wind farms remain a hot button issue in Woodford County.

On Tuesday night, the County Board voted 10-5 to pass a resolution to temporarily halt issuing new wind farm permits until Sept. 21, pending the state’s attorney’s decision on the legality of the resolution.

Voting in favor of the resolution were Shannon Rocke, Duane Kingdon, John Krug, Doug Huser, Stan Glazier, Tom Evans, Tom Karr, Don Cremeens, Russ Cotton and Barry Logan. Voting against the measure were Larry Whitaker, Mike Hinrichsen, Andrew Martin, Terry Pille and Tom Janssen.

It was noted that any subsequent action the board would take would have no bearing on the existing agreements with the Minonk and Roanoke wind farms.

This resolution to halt any more wind farm permits was brought forward by the county’s conservation, planning and zoning committee, which has some members who have strenuously opposed the wind farm ordinance in the past couple of years.

Rocke said the measure was not an assault on wind farms but was about property rights and how the ordinance offered no protection for people who lived close to a wind farm.

“Property rights is a big deal,” Rocke said.

The committee plans to review the ordinance on wind farms including the length of the setbacks, taking the height of the towers into consideration, among other things.

Huser said the committee would meet every week on Tuesdays and invited public input to revise the ordinance.

“We’re going to meet on Tuesday with no per diems, no mileage, on our own time and I welcome everybody to come in and do this right,” he said.

Pille and others argued the resolution probably was not legal and wanted the state’s attorney to rule on it. Special State’s Attorney Pete Dluski said he didn’t feel comfortable giving an opinion without consulting new State’s Attorney Greg Minger, who was appointed to the post Tuesday night.