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Wind farm could locate to southeast part of county  

In recent years, Lee and Bureau counties have experienced increased opposition to wind farms. In 2012 and 2013, Lee County’s zoning board conducted 32 meetings on a wind farm proposal, totaling 80 hours. The zoning board ultimately recommended against the farm’s approval; the Lee County Board ignored the advice and gave the go-ahead.

Credit:  David Giuliani | The Times | www.mywebtimes.com ~~

La Salle County may get a new wind farm.

Heartland Wind, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, has approached the county government about the possibility of building about 50 turbines in the county’s southeastern portion, said Mike Harsted, environmental services and land use director.

The project would be between two existing wind farms in that area, he said. The new turbines are expected to be taller than the 220 already in the county, he said.

Heartland is expected to present its proposal before the county Zoning Board of Appeals in the next couple months. The company is already working on road agreements with townships and the county highway department.

“Originally, they wanted to start before winter,” he said. “There are some issues they have to deal with.”

Wind farms typically bring in significant new property tax revenue for school districts. The new turbines, Harsted said, would be in the boundaries of the Streator High and Allen-Otter Creek Elementary districts.

Streator High already has turbines in its jurisdiction, which helps put it in a better financial position than Streator Elementary.

The wind farm would need a special use permit from the county.

Harsted said the county expects the special use hearing would last less than two hours. The length of hearings, he said, is based on the amount of opposition. He doubts the new wind farm will receive many objections because there are no expensive subdivisions in that area.

In recent years, Lee and Bureau counties have experienced increased opposition to wind farms. In 2012 and 2013, Lee County’s zoning board conducted 32 meetings on a wind farm proposal, totaling 80 hours. The zoning board ultimately recommended against the farm’s approval; the Lee County Board ignored the advice and gave the go-ahead.

Heartland didn’t return a call for comment.

Source:  David Giuliani | The Times | www.mywebtimes.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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