DEER GROVE – The tiny village of Deer Grove may have a role in the approval of wind turbines after all.
Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power is planning nine turbines for the far southeastern corner of Whiteside County – two of which would be within 1.5 miles of the village.
The village, population 48, contends it has zoning jurisdiction in the 1.5-mile area surrounding its limits. It drafted a zoning ordinance last year to meet the requirement for jurisdiction in the buffer zone.
Mainstream project manager John Martin said last month, though, that the village didn’t meet the “regulatory requirements” to keep out turbines. He provided no details.
At the same time, he told the Whiteside County Planning and Zoning Commission that his company wanted to give Deer Grove board members information that would show how the turbines wouldn’t be a problem.
This week, Martin said his company would not bypass the village and planned to meet with its leaders.
“We think we have more information now than when we talked to them over a year ago. We think we can work with them,” he said.
Deer Grove’s village president, Al Thompson, said his village had a “mix-up” with Mainstream, saying the village clerk had sent the wrong documentation showing that it had zoning jurisdiction over the 1.5-mile area.
He said that Deer Grove has since sent the right information and that Mainstream planned to present its proposal to the village board on May 21.
The county Planning and Zoning Commission has been meeting every other week for an ongoing hearing on Mainstream’s proposal for the nine turbines.
Stuart Richter, the county’s planning and zoning administrator, said he didn’t know whether the commission would vote on the two turbines near Deer Grove, or leave that decision up to the village.
He said he would consult with the state’s attorney’s office on that issue.
Mainstream has submitted an application for 19 turbines in Bureau County as part of the same wind farm, called Green River. It is expected to seek about 30 in Lee County, but it is waiting to see how the County Board votes on proposed wind energy regulations.
The Deer Grove village board will meet at 7 p.m. May 21 at the community building.
The board will hear a presentation from Mainstream Renewable Power on its proposal for a wind farm, which will include two turbines within 1.5 miles of the village.
For more information, call village President Al Thompson at 815-438-4225.
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