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Board approves restriction to wind farm project

DeWitt County leaders approved one out of several proposed restrictions to a wind farm project.

The DeWitt County Board passed a measure that requires aircraft detection lighting or a similar type of system. The technology would limit wind turbine lights that flash at night to only go off when they pick up on a plane approaching.

That measure and others, including restrictions increasing the minimum distance a turbine can stand from a house and asking for no shadow flicker from turbines, passed the DeWitt County Zoning Board in early April. Only the detection system made it through the final step.

Demonstrators could be seen protesting before the start of the board meeting. The board heard close to 50 people speaking either for or against the proposed project changes before making its decisions.

Tradewind Energy, the company behind the project, along with union Laborers Local 703, argued restrictions on the wind farm would hurt job growth and potentially kill the project.

Tradewind needs a special use permit from the DeWitt County Board to move forward with the project.