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No objection to Pike County wind farm at public hearing

PITTSFIELD, Ill. – Pike County residents voiced no objection to a proposed wind farm during a public hearing Thursday night.

Pike County Board Chairman Andy Borrowman said he was surprised how quickly and smoothly the meeting at the Pike County Courthouse went. Borrowman estimated there were up to 30 in attendance and described the meeting as “nice and cordial.”

“I thought it would be fairly vocal, but nobody voiced opposition,” Borrowman said, adding that while several questions were asked, nothing presented would be considered “detrimental” to the project.

Borrowman has received two letters of opposition from outside Pike County but none from county residents.

Illinois Winds LLC has met all ordinance criteria in its project proposal, which was analyzed by Patrick Engineering. If the county board grants a building permit at its July 24 meeting, Illinois Winds will move forward with plot and geological surveys and finalize an agreement with a construction firm.

“A lot of things are contingent upon the permit,” Borrowman said.

Borrowman noted that county board members have been “taking initiative to get all the information and get up to speed before making the decision.” Seven of the nine county board members attended Thursday night’s meeting, and many have been asking for more information.

“It’s refreshing to see that they’re taking this seriously,” Borrowman said. “It’s an important decision.”

Illinois Winds Vice President Bill Damon told The Herald-Whig earlier this month that, if approved, the company plans to begin construction in early 2018 with commercial operation becoming available by early 2019.

Borrowman said, if the measure passes, the first step in the process would be the construction of roads to get to the sites of the turbines.