The Chenoa City Council motioned approval of a compensation and waiver of siting authority agreement at its Monday night meeting which authorizes Invenergy to construct up to four wind turbines within the city’s 1.5-mile radius corporate limits. Before the passage of the ordinance, members of the public in attendance asked and received answers concerning the city’s compensation and a decommissioning plan.
Three of the proposed turbines are almost directly to the south of Chenoa, just east of I-55 and between 2800 and 2900 E North roads. The other turbine is to go directly southwest of the city, near N 2650 East Road, near the Thacker airfield.
Mayor Chris Wilder gave a brief history of city coding that allowed Invenergy to construct within corporate limits, and what the wind energy company was presently proposing.
“We do not currently have an ordinance (for this),” he said. “In 2009, there was an ordinance (disallowing) any wind turbines in town. In 2010, that was repealed. Therefore, right now we don’t have anything other than what McLean County is offering. The county has included a 1.5 mile of corporate city limits.
“What Invenergy has asked and proposed to the city of Chenoa is for us to do nothing more than what we have in place right now – which is nothing. They’re asking us to let the county zone this and be responsible, which is where we’re currently at.”
The residents in attendance were allowed to ask questions of the mayor and commissioners, as well as an Invenergy representative, concerning the proposed wind energy conversion system project.
As far as the city’s compensation for the allowance of the four wind towers, Wilder said that the city would receive $3,000 per turbine for the first five years, and the amount would gradually increase thereafter and would be $5,793 by the 30th year.
On the subject of decommissioning, the representative said Invenergy had entered into an agreement with Illinois Department of Agriculture that requires the company to take the towers down once they’ve reached the point of expiry.
When put to a vote, all the commissioners voted in favor of approving the agreement. Wilder, on the other hand, abstained.
The city discussed and were prepared to vote on Finance and Insurance Commissioner Kyle Buchanan’s proposed city equipment leasing ordinance, but opted to table the matter when concerns were raised by members of the public about potential liability hazards.
During the commissioners’ report, Water and Sewer Commissioner Don Schultheis said that there had been three water main breaks in recent weeks on Gerrard Street, Grant Street and the intersection of Fuller and Sunrise streets. He believed that the cause came down to brutal winter weather the area had experienced last month.
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