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Don’t look for wind farm turbines to be built inside Washington’s city limits, or even inside the city’s 1.5-mile jurisdiction. The Washington City Council reaffirmed that stance recently so city staff could pass along the message to residents and wind energy firms looking to build a wind farm in the area.
“We had some residents ask us about turbines being built on their property because they see them as a revenue source, but other residents have told us they definitely don’t want turbines in their neighborhood,” said interim City Administrator Bob Morris.
Alderman Jim Gee doesn’t want to see turbines anywhere near the city.
“They should be at least five miles outside our jurisdiction,” he said.
Concerns about turbines hindering the city’s growth or getting in the way of a route chosen for the proposed Eastern Bypass highway are the main reasons why city officials don’t want a wind farm on city property.
A plan by Chicago-based PNE Wind USA to build the White Tail Wind Farm south and east of Washington got the city’s attention last fall, and City Council passed an ordinance in October that would require the issuance of a special-use permit before a turbine is placed on city property.
But it doesn’t look like the ordinance will be needed.
“PNE has told us that they’ll respect our 1.5-mile jurisdiction,” Morris said.
A meteorological tower constructed in April by PNE near Irish Lane and the Washington Blacktop will accumulate data for a year. If all goes well, the wind farm could be built as early as 2013.
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