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Second wind farm plan up for vote Tuesday

DANVILLE – Vermilion County Board members will vote Tuesday whether to approve the county’s second wind farm.

The board’s structural safety committee voted in January to approve the permit filed by GDF SUEZ Energy North America Inc. for the creation of the Hoopeston Wind Energy Farm in northern Vermilion County. The full board makes the final decision on approval.

The project calls for the construction of 43 wind turbines along a stretch from around 3 miles east of Illinois Route 49 to the area near the Hubbard Trail Country Club north of Rossville. The structural safety committee voted 5-1 to approve the permit application.

Bill Donahue, a county attorney who has worked with the wind farm company, said several “loose ends” noted at the structural safety committee have since been taken care of by the company.

That includes the company’s general liability insurance for construction, which committee members at the time noted had expired late last year.

In addition, Donahue said questions over the number of leases taken care of for the project have been answered. In January, the company listed 38 leases of land for the project, but committee member and county Recorder Barbara Young indicated only 30 had been recorded.

Donahue said Friday that a road use agreement has not been reached yet for the project, adding that work on that will begin in the spring.

“There’s not a rush on that as of yet,” he said.

Development of the project has been ongoing since 2008. The current timetable calls for it to be completed by 2014.

This is the company’s second attempt at a wind farm permit in Vermilion County. A scheduled meeting before the structural safety committee in April was canceled.

The structural safety committee issued the first wind farm permit last year when it voted to approve the application submitted by Invenergy LLC in July.