PONTIAC – Officials from the company hoping to build a wind farm in Livingston County say they will consider all available options after the County Board voted down the proposal last week.
In a statement released by Invenergy spokeswoman Suzette Peruyero, the company thanked the families and residents who supported the project and voiced their opinion during more than 35 meetings on the Pleasant Wind Energy Project.
She said the Chicago-based company was disappointed by the board’s rejection of the project to build 138 turbines near Forrest, Fairbury, Strawn and Chatsworth.
“It is unfortunate the expert evidence from the board’s witnesses and ours was ignored and we are looking at all of our options,” the statement read. “The Pleasant Ridge Wind Energy Project would create hundreds of construction and permanent jobs in Livingston County and generate millions of dollars annually in local tax revenue – critical at this time for local schools. None of this will be realized because of the decision.”
The board voted 13-9 Thursday to deny the project, which would have been in the townships of Pleasant Ridge, Forrest, Fayette, Eppards Point, Indian Grove, Chatsworth, Charlotte, Belle Prairie and Avoca.
The company has until Oct. 14 to appeal the decision. The Regional Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals each previously denied the application.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that this is now over,” said Chatsworth resident Megan Dassow, who opposed the wind farm. “They have 90 days to appeal the decision, and so I won’t feel comfortable until that is through. But I am very glad that the elected officials of this county listened to the citizens. Livingston County has spoken.”
Also opposing the wind farm was Fairbury resident John Slagel.
“I know it was very hard for them to turn down new tax money, especially considering the necessary budget cuts all levels of government here are going through,” he said. “They weighed the concerns of the citizens living near it above money.
“I’m proud of them, and this feels like a united county, working together, today. I hope that we will prove to them that we were worth it, and that we will all maintain this positive momentum for the county.”