DECATUR– A proposed wind turbine farm in northwest Macon County is stirring some concern among area residents.
Many of them aired their concerns on Tuesday morning during the Macon County Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, where officials associated with the wind farm were also present.
The proposed wind farm includes 140 wind turbines covering roughly 24,000 acres of land. The wind farm would be located just north of Warrensburg and west of Maroa, bordering Logan County. Brad King, with E-On Energy says each wind turbine would provide enough energy to power roughly 500 homes.
Alan Ruwe, who owns a small parcel of land located within the parameters of the wind farm says he feels that residents weren’t given enough time to do their own research before the permit process began, “We just heard about this a couple of days ago, we aren’t trained to do this, we need more time to research this project.”
Ruwe said he isn’t against wind farms in general, he is just concerned for his and his neighbors, land, “Our specific concerns deal with the noise and we are also worried about property values, everyone talks about properties in the vicinity of the wind farm, but we haven’t heard about the properties inside the wind farm.”
Many of the questions posed on Tuesday afternoon centered on property values and the possible negative effect a wind turbine would have on them.
Michael Baker is the attorney representing E-On and said their research showed that there were no negatively affected properties, “We have read through nearly every study done on wind farms located throughout the country and there is no proof that any of the properties inside, or around a wind farm, had their property values decline.”
Baker added that 18 counties in Illinois have at least one wind farm in operation, the oldest being McLean County, which had its wind farm constructed 11 years ago. Nationwide 39 states have wind farms operating inside of them.
Following approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals, the proposal then is sent to the EEHW Committee before being vote on by the full Macon County Board for consideration next month.
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