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Solar and wind energy discussed again; Council considers a feasibility study

SPRING VALLEY – The possibility of solar and wind energy coming to Spring Valley was discussed again during Monday night’s City Council meeting.

There was a joint Finance and Legislative Committee meeting held on May 14 to discuss this as well. Alderman Deb Baltikauski said during the meeting the benefits of renewable energy were discussed. Some benefits include tax incentives and set energy costs.

Bluestem Energy also contacted the city to complete a feasibility study of renewable energy. Bluestem would pay for the study, which could cost up to $75,000, but then Spring Valley will be locked in to a 25-year contract with them.

If the city wanted to opt out of the contract, it would be responsible to pay for the study that was completed.

The benefit of going with a company such as Bluestem Energy is that there are no upfront costs for the city.

Alderman Fred West talked to Geneseo’s director of Electrical Operations, Lewis Opsal, about that city’s solar farm. Opsal said they have a 1.2-megawatt solar farm that they purchased themselves using an Illinois Clean Energy Grant. Geneseo had to pay only a portion of the cost, which will pay for itself in 7-8 years.

West reported that Geneseo plans to add an additional 1.5-megawatt solar farm in 2019.

There will be an additional joint Finance and Legislative Committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, to further discuss renewable energy and to discuss the proposed text amendment in regard to solar and wind energy special use provisions that will be presented at 7 p.m. June 6 to the Plan Commission.

In other news:

• The council approved the Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) resolution for maintenance under the Illinois Highway Code; $114,000 in MFT funds was appropriated.

• The council approved the local agency resolution to use $59,000 of local funds from the Sales Tax Roadway Fund to cover the balance of the 2018 maintenance program.

• The council approved a $100 donation to the Jimmy D Golf Day. The date for this year’s Golf Day is Sunday, July 8, at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley and Deer Park Golf Club in Oglesby. The proceeds from the event benefit cancer treatment for area patients at St. Margaret’s Hospital.

• A $200 donation to the Spring Valley Walleye Club was approved. The donation purchases a sign advertisement at Barto Landing. Advertisement support helps to pay for projects such as parking lot resurfacing, security, landscaping and continued lagoon dredging.

• The council approved a $250 donation for the NCICG Economic Development Summit, which will be held on July 12. This silver level support includes one admission to the summit and advertising.

• The American Legion Post 938 Poppy Day Fundraiser was approved. The fundraiser will take place at the intersection of Route 6 and Route 34 on Saturday, May 26.

• A tag day to support St. Jude was approved for 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 4 at the intersection of Spalding Street and St. Paul Street as well as the intersection of Route 6 and Route 89.

• The council gave permission for Ron and Sally Swingel to have music outside until 11 p.m. on Aug. 18 at 860 Bernal Court.

• The city of Spring Valley received thank-you notes for donations from the Hall Prom After Glow Committee and the Illinois Center for Independent Living.

• The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, June 4, in the Council Chambers.