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Lee County Board approves petition from wind energy company

DIXON – The Lee County Board met on Oct. 18 at the Old Lee County Courthouse.

The board heard a petition from the zoning board in which Leeward Renewable Energy Development LLC., requesting a special use permit for the purpose of removing 63 wind turbines that make up the existing Mendota Hills wind farm project and replacing them with up to 34 newer, more efficient turbines.

Citizen Mark Bresson of the Bresson Airport addressed the board with concerns about the placement of the turbines near the airport. He expressed concern for the safety of students that learn to fly at the facility.

“I would probably not have a problem with the turbine with 50 years of experience,” said Bresson. “But the students who are just learning may not be able to maneuver around them as easily with no room for error. I am afraid they will leave our facility for another that is safer.”

Shannon Lenz of Compton also shared concern for the shadow flicker that she encounters at her residence, noting that her calls to Leeward have not been returned.

A representative from Leeward spoke directly to Bresson and assured him that they would not proceed with the placement of the three turbines in question until they, Bresson and Leeward, had come to an agreement.

After a lengthy discussion and an attempt by some county board members to send it back to the zoning board for revision, the board finally accepted the petition with a roll call vote of 11-9.

For the complete article see the 10-26-2016 issue.