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Wind farm plans cause controversy  

Credit:  Kara Biernat | WGEM | wgem.com ~~

McDonough County has a plan is in place to bring in new energy. However, the placement of the wind farm is causing controversy, as all residents are not on board.

Capital Power has the plans in place for a wind farm in rural McDonough County– a project the county has been working on for almost a decade. However, residents said it may not be as good at it looks.

“We made numerous calls and they said everybody’s in favor of it,” resident Emily Hauge said. “We have not heard anything negative and for the record, we’re against it.”

That’s Hauge and her husband Don Teel’s reaction to the plans for a new wind farm near their home in rural McDonough County.

“I have no objections to wind farms, except when they put one a couple 300 yards from my house,” Teel said.

County leaders said they are one ordinance away from 60 wind turbines going up route 67 to Warren County– a plan Teel said will interrupt his and his wife’s day-to-day life.

“We come out on this deck,” Teel said. “I built this deck, we’ve lived here since 1980, in peace and quiet.”

It’s the sound, blinking red lights and flickered light that they are worried about dealing with, as the turbines will sit on 19,000 acres of land that surrounds their house.

However, other residents and county leaders are on board.

Kim Pierce with Macomb Area Economic Development said that these 60 turbines that will be put in the fields are a positive thing. She said they’ll bring all sorts of economic development to McDonough County.

“We’re seeing construction jobs that will probably be from when they first start, to 12 to 18 months and then permanent jobs, I think there will be 12 to 15, which are really good high paying, high skilled jobs,” Pierce said. “We’re excited for that opportunity here as well.”

Pierce said it will also bring more business to hotels, restaurants and gas stations.

However, Hauge and Teel are not convinced.

“We’ve never had to deal with it,” Hauge said. “Flashing light in our face and the woosh, woosh. I don’t know, I guess you deal with it, or you move.”

The county board will vote on the last ordinance before the year ends. If passed, the construction is scheduled to start in the spring of 2019 and will take up to a year to complete.

The farm is expected to run for the next 25 to 30 years. Officials with the energy company said it will bring in up to $37 million in property taxes in that time. The farmers who allow the turbines to be put on their land are being compensated, depending on how much land is used.

Source:  Kara Biernat | WGEM | wgem.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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