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BLOOMINGTON – After a lengthy debate, the McLean County Board voted 10-8 in favor of placing a wind farm in the northeast part of the county.
The farm will include 100 wind turbines spread across 13,000 acres in the Chenoa, Gridley, Lawndale, Lexington, and Money Creek Townships.
Much of the deliberation surrounded the idea of sending the proposal back to the Zoning Board of Appeals for more information and clarification. Board member Paul Segobiano was vocal in his support of the wind farms, and reasoned if the ZBA voted unanimously to approve the proposal, the County Board should respect its judgment.
“Seven hearings, 30 hours of sworn testimony, that committee took two-and-a-half hours to deliberate that information, dissect that information,” Segobiano explained. “And after two-and-a-half hours of deliberation, they came up with a unanimous vote.”
Segobiano said since the ZBA members were picked by the County Board, there would be no reason to send it back to them due to the confidence in the ZBA’s decision making process.
Yet several board members disagreed with Segobiano’s assessment . Board member Susan Schafer, who voted against the farm, explained while she trusts the ZBA and appreciates the efforts it took to pass the proposal, she wasn’t completely on board with Invenergy. She said it didn’t seem like the company was following the county’s ordinances.
“When you have a company that doesn’t really want to follow the rules and just kind of wants to throw it out there and see what sticks, I’m not sure that they’re going to be responsive to anything,” Schafer said.
The County Board also approved a tax abatement for Rivian Automotive, following the Normal Town Council’s approval of the abatement last night.
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