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Both sides of wind issue to speak out; Pro and con have had to keep quiet

DIXON – Last week, the supporters and opponents of a wind farm had to keep quiet during Lee County zoning meetings.

They’ll have a chance to speak out today.

At the Lee County Board’s monthly meeting today, people on both sides of the issue are on the agenda to speak.

For 3 nights last week, the Lee County Zoning Board of Appeals held meetings as part of the decision-making process on Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power’s wind proposal. The company wants 53 turbines in the county’s southwestern corner.

The next meeting will be April 23. Five more meetings are scheduled, if needed.

The zoning board will make a recommendation on the project, with the Lee County Board getting the final say.

During 27 hearings from July through February, the zoning board took public input. It doesn’t take feedback during the decision-making process.

Last week, the zoning board voted on findings of fact on the wind farm, which will set the stage for its approval or denial. If the board approves the project, it’ll likely set a number of conditions based on the findings of fact.

While the zoning board voted on findings last week, the wind farm’s attorney, Doug Lee, and company officials sat silently. So did opponents.

Today, Keith Bolin of Mainstream and Rick Porter, a Rockford attorney representing wind farm opponents, are on the agenda.

The County Board will make no decisions related to the wind farm at the meeting.