December 6, 2011

Reader clarifies wind turbine info

The McDonough County Voice, 5 December 2011

After reading a recent letter to the editor in your paper from Hugh McHarry, I felt compelled to respond to help clear up some of the inaccuracies and issues that were being presented regarding industrial wind turbine development. HB 620 passed in 2007 is the current law that allows counties and municipalities to regulate Wind Turbine development but contains ambiguous language when it comes to the many small rural unzoned municipalities throughout Illinois.

In 2010 the Village of Golden discovered that dozens of 500 foot tall wind turbines could be placed around our rural community without any regard to our local grade school, senior center or the future growth of our Village. I along with over 250 residents of our community, worked with Senator Sullivan and Representative Jil Tracy to introduce SB 167 which is legislation that codifies into law an opinion given by IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan which says that any community, not just those with zoning, may have input into the siting of wind turbines within 1-½ miles of their corporate boundaries. Simply put, SB 167 is neither prowind or antiwind but only clears up confusing language in existing law and levels the playing field for small communities not big enough to implement zoning. The legislation passed the IL Senate with 46 yes votes and only 4 no votes—huge bi-partisan support—and is being carried in the House by Representative Tracy.

I want to thank Senator Sullivan and Representative Tracy for helping the Village of Golden and working together in a bi-partisan way for finding common ground and allowing all tax payers a voice in our government.

Rick Walker
Golden, Il

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