The Bureau County zoning board of appeals held a lengthy meeting Thursday night where, by a vote of 3 to 2, the zoning board will recommend approval for three meteorological towers to be located in Macon township.
Leeward Renewable Energy Development LLC, represented by John Wycherley of Dallas, TX and Attorney Kyle Berry of Springfield, IL, presented petitions for three 200-foot towers in Macon County, sections 9, 13 and 33.
The group explained the purpose is to gather data for potential wind farms.
Macon Township Precinct Committeeman Gus Block stated that a vote to approve these weather sampling towers is a gateway to a wind turbine farm. Block stated that represented concerned residents and nearby township landowners, many who were present for the hearing.
One concerned resident, sixth generation landowner Connie Stetson, shared that the three proposed towers are surrounded by properties under contract by RWE Renewables. Both Block and Stetson suggested a no vote.
RWE Renewables is a German owned company that has 15,000 acres under contract in four Bureau County townships including Macon, Neponset, Mineral and Concord.
RWE land acquisition manager, Dana Livingston called the project the Concord Wind Farm. The final project is over 20,000-acres and will have 120 Danish-built turbines.
Neponset precinct committeeman, Dick Wells, also represented concerned citizens and landowners. Seventy have signed a local petition against using the Great Sauk Trail, located in Neponset and Mineral townships, from the RWE project.
Wells told the zoning board that their votes may have a long term impact on the communities. Wells stated that he believes many wind turbine environmental and health issues are still unknown, but will be more clear in the future. He recommended a no vote.
Wells, who lived in Germany for 3 years and studied at the US Army Command and General Staff College stated, “Today Germany is experiencing rolling blackouts due to over reliance on green energy and unreliable oil and gas supplies from Russia. Intermittent energy reliance, solar and wind power, is the largest geo-political error made in Europe since WWII. The US can learn from their energy policy mistakes.”
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