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Logan County Board to decide wind farm fate

MOUNT PULASKI – The Logan County Board is expected to decide on a proposed wind farm for the county, but will do so without a recommendation from the county’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

The board will meet in a workshop session Thursday night at the Logan County Courthouse and is expected to discuss the proposed Meridien Wind Farm, a $400 million project that, if approved, would include 81 turbines located south and west of Mount Pulaski, stretching from Broadwell to Elkhart.

Following three public hearings on the project before the ZBA in Mount Pulaski, the four members voted 2 to 2 on whether the project should be allowed to go forward. At least three members need to vote in favor of a recommendation before one can be forwarded to the full county board that has final say regardless of the ZBA’s vote.

ZBA Chairman Doug Thompson, who voted against the recommendation, said during the public hearings there was a lack of support for the project and he heard only opposition to the project from local residents.

“We know there are a lot of concerns in the community and this, in a way, passes that feeling on to the county board,” he said.

The project is being developed by Relight US Corp, a Delaware-based company. Relight spokesman Robert Paladino previously told the ZBA the county would receive about $2.44 million in property taxes during the first year of operation and more than $61 million over a 25-year period. A number of concerns, including the impact on property values, potential noise problems, shadow flicker issues, and a decreased quality of living experience were discussed during the public forums.

“We have always been willing to work with our neighbors on these issues both prior to, during and after construction of the towers,” said Paladino.

If built, the towers are expected to be about 300 feet high and the tips of the blades would reach 491 feet from the ground. Towers could not be built within 600 feet of a road or 1,000 feet from any residence.

If approved, construction could begin in the spring, Paladino said.

The full county board is scheduled to meet in a voting session Jan. 22 at the Logan County Safety Complex.