Macomb, Ill. – Kim Pierce, administrator of the Macomb/McDonough County Enterprise Zone, told the zone management board Thursday not to expect to see construction begin on wind farms in the county until late this year or in early 2013. Pierce shared a project update letter from wind farm company ElementPower.
In the letter, project manager Gina Wolf wrote, “Although you won’t see dirt moving…we still have some big upcoming goals.” She went on to state that the company is negotiating road use and repair agreements with Blandinsville and Sciota townships.
Wolf said agreement has been reached with Pioneer Rail to run overhead transmission lines across railroad tracks that run between Good Hope, Blandinsville, and Sciota. She said Ameren Illinois has agreed to allow 13 wind turbines to be located on properties where it holds easements.
Pierce some area farmers have already signed land lease agreements with ElementPower. She said some have already received their first payment checks.
In other business, board members were told that the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is reluctant to add Bushnell’s new business park to the enterprise zone unless the city has specific companies lined up to locate there. “They don’t like to take actions based on speculation,” Pierce said.
In 2011, Bushnell had $214,845 in enterprise zone projects. There were two commercial developments and two residential improvements . Mayor Steve Russell said a law office located in the downtown portion of the zone might take advantage of the location to extensively remodel its building this year.
Macomb generated slightly more than $1 million dollars in enterprise zone activity last year. There were 15 commercial developments generating 20 new jobs, and eight residential improvements.
Pierce said the Macomb portion of the zone could generate up to $9 million this year when NTN Bower completes an expansion project designed to add 40 more jobs.
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