DECATUR –Twin Forks Wind Farm has cleared the final hurdle for their proposed wind farm after the Macon County Board meeting Thursday night.
The full board approved the proposal of 139 wind turbines from the company E-On Energy to be located on roughly 24,000 acres just north of Warrensburg and west of Maroa in Macon County. After over an hour of discussion from E-On spokesmen, a lawyer hired by those opposed to the farm, and several supporters and detractors, the board passed the proposal by a vote of 19-1.
“I’m very pleased for the people of Macon County after the outcome from the board tonight,” says Bob Chamberlain, a supporter of the wind farm and Warrensburg resident. “The economic impact this will provide is the main reason I’m happy, but it will also help support the next generation and so on.”
The original proposal was for 140 turbines, however, E-On failed to serve a notice of the proposal to a homeowner who would live adjacent to a proposed turbine. Because of that failure, E-On pulled turbine #51 from the proposal to avoid potential issues with that resident.
The lawyer for the opposition voiced an argument claiming that E-On did not send a notice in a timely manner to those who would be affected by the wind farm, which violates a state statute. However, that claim was deemed false by both E-On and the board’s lawyers.
This proposal spanned several weeks as it started in the Macon County Zoning Board of Appeals, then on to the EEHW Committee, and finally received approval from the Macon County Board. Macon County Board Chairman Kevin Greenfield says the wind farm process began much longer ago, and he is glad it has come to an end.
“Talks with the wind farm actually began 5 or 6 years ago,” says Greenfield. “I’ve spent a lot of time the past 2 weeks conferring with legal counsel. After all of that, you bet I’m glad it is done.”
Greenfield says the next step for Twin Forks is to apply for building permits, but they no longer have to go through the board with anymore business.
E-On officials say they hope to have all the permits secured by the end of this year, and believe they can then start construction of turbines starting in 2016.
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