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New Boone County Board will vote on wind energy  

Credit:  Jennifer Wheeler | Rockford Register Star | 31 October 2012 | www.rrstar.com ~~

Lengthy testimony about the health and safety of wind turbines has made it impossible for the current Boone County Board to vote on the issue before members’ terms expire in November.

After 11 hours of testimony during three Boone County Zoning Board of Appeals meetings, committee members agreed Tuesday to wait until Dec. 26 before making a recommendation.

International wind developer Mainstream Renewable Power has discussed placing as many as 100 turbines on 12,000 acres in Manchester and LeRoy townships in Boone County. Company representatives said if leaders approve the amendment, it will likely damper any future wind energy development.

The proposed amendment doubles the distance between “primary” structures and wind devices to 2,000 feet, though owners may waive this requirement so turbines would be distanced 1,200 feet away. The amendment would also expand the list of primary strictures and require a source of funding to cover the cost of taking the wind turbines out of service once their parts fail.

County board members Pat Mattison and Kenny Freeman urged ZBA members to not rush their decisions. Both said leaders have not heard from several government bodies that will be affected, including: the North Boone School District; villages of Poplar Grove, Capron and Caledonia; Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce; Growth Dimensions; and the Winnebago-Boone County Farm Bureau.

Freeman suggested hosting a public forum at the Community Building Complex in Belvidere to learn more information. The measure would create an unprecedented step during the zoning amendment process.

Source:  Jennifer Wheeler | Rockford Register Star | 31 October 2012 | www.rrstar.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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