MORRISON – The Whiteside County Board hasn’t taken a roll call vote this year on wind energy, even though the issue has attracted much attention since the spring.
There have been voice votes on procedural matters related to wind energy rules. In such cases, individual members’ votes aren’t recorded.
Last month, when a member asked for a roll call on a proposed wind energy policy, others loudly objected.
So the board decided to delay consideration of the issue until today. Monday, however, County Board member Jim Duffy, D-Sterling, who proposed the policy, said he hadn’t decided whether he would bring it up at the meeting.
Last month, he proposed that wind farm developers come to an agreement with unzoned, incorporated towns for the siting of wind towers within 1.5 miles of their boundaries. Under the policy, the county would honor the agreements as part of the permitting process.
The policy was meant to help Deer Grove, population 48, whose board voted in the spring to regulate wind turbines within the 1.5-mile area. But some questioned whether the village could enact such a policy if it had no zoning ordinance.
Earlier this month, the village enacted zoning regulations, removing the question of whether it could regulate nearby turbines.
The county’s one remaining incorporated, unzoned town is Coleta, population 164. That village’s mayor, Sally Douglas, said the Coleta board hadn’t discussed the wind issue.
Duffy said that if he brought up the proposed policy, it would be for Coleta.
In the spring, county officials revealed that Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power was planning a three-county wind farm that included the Deer Grove area. It would also be in Lee and Bureau counties.
The Whiteside County Board meets at 6:30 p.m. today in its chambers at the Whiteside County Courthouse, 400 N. Cherry St. in Morrison.
The board may consider a proposal to give incorporated, unzoned towns the power to negotiate with wind energy companies.
For an agenda for this meeting, minutes from past meetings or more information, go to www.whiteside.org or call 815-772-5100.
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