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$1,150,000 headed to county; Settlement amount, terms with wind developer revealed

PRINCETON – Bureau County will receive $1.15 million from developers in a settlement of a lawsuit over road damage done during construction of a wind farm south of Tiskilwa.

County Engineer John Gross on Wednesday confirmed the settlement amount, and called the agreement fair. The settlement with Iberdrola Renewables, owners of the Providence Heights Wind LLC wind farm, first was announced May 12 at the Bureau County Board meeting.

Settlement terms weren’t disclosed then, pending final approval from Iberdrola.

The dispute revolved around damage to stretches of Wyanet-Walnut Road and Kentville Road, which are adjacent to Providence Heights wind farm. The board voted in 2009 to declare the developer to be in default of a road agreement it signed three years earlier.

Ottawa attorney Sheryl Kuzma, who was one of two lawyers for the county in the case, said she was pleased with the settlement and that it allows the county to repair its roads.

She said the Iberdrola road agreement was one of the first for the county. There now are better ways to evaluate existing road conditions, she said, so both the county and the developer have a better understanding of how wind construction will affect roads and the sort of road repairs which will be needed.

“The roads agreements which we now have in place and which we will negotiate in the future will provide better assurance that one of the county’s most important assets, its road infrastructure, will be protected for the residents of Bureau County,” Kuzma said.

On June 1, Circuit Judge Joseph Hettel entered an order in the Bureau County case, which had been assigned to LaSalle County court, stating the lawsuit had been dismissed.