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Wind turbines disturb local farmer

MACOMB – Jeffrey Butler, a member of the McDonough County Farm Bureau, told the county board’s law and legal committee Monday that having his farm near two wind turbines has caused some disruptions. He suggested the board consider adding language to its wind farm ordinance that might solve some of the problems.

Butler said a new setback guideline might be considered. “I think 1800 feet is too close,” he said. Noise levels experienced from being near the wind turbines have led to a planned decibel measurement.

The farmer said his house has experienced shadow flicker from being close to the turbines. “There was a three-quarter mile shadow over our house this spring,” Butler said.

In seeking a county ordinance revision, Butler told the committee, “Right now, I have no protection.” County Board Chairman Scott Schwerer said a representative of the wind farm plans to attend the August 19 county board meeting.

In other business, Chief Deputy Adam Cremer told the committee that four or five prisoners being held on state charges may soon be sent to state prison. He said the state hasn’t let any new inmates into its prisons since March.

“Hancock County has six or seven prisoners that the state will accept,” Cremer said. He also reported that the population average for the McDonough County Jail in July was 26.

Veterans Assistance Superintendent Ric Smart said $964 was paid out in July to assist five veterans with expenses. He said he has purchased cleaning supplies and a no-touch temperature gauge for the veterans transportation van.

Smart said the Veterans Assistance Administration still won’t let the van go back on the road. He said a COVID-19 outbreak in Johnson County, Iowa has kept the VA Hospital on lockdown for all but emergency cases.

The committee also received a written report from Tri-County recycling coordinator Tim Lobdell. He said that 90,000 pounds of paint and electronics recycling was received last month and in June.

Lobdell said township cleanup days have been scheduled in September and October for Sciota, Walnut Grove, and Chalmers townships.