Night two, and the discussion continues about whether to change the current wind energy ordinance in Tazewell County or not.
Thursday, the public hearing held at the Tazewell Justice Center in Pekin began with a cross-examination between the group, United Citizens of Tazewell County, and wind energy company, EDP Energies.
EDP Energies currently has one wind farm in Tazewell County, in Hopedale, Ill called Rail Splitter. The wind farm has more than 50 turbines. It is located near I-55 and Highway 136.
The Tazewell County Community Development Administrator, Jaclynn Workman, said they received a lot of good information and have a lot of it to review further.
“We knew that amendments needed to be made to the ordinance, and it is something that is overdue, so this has really given us the opportunity to really hear everything at once,” said Workman.
After cross-examination, the public had the chance to speak. 36 people signed up to take the podium.
One of those people was John Baker, who lives in Tremont. Baker said his family farm is in the middle of the Rail Splitter.
“I know people, many people that live there, and they have had positive experiences,” said
Later went into the potential of brownouts in Illinois.
“It frustrates me because brownouts are very possible the government doesn’t want to talk about it, but Illinois is screwed up,” said Baker.
“The only option is windmills, and I hate to see them go to someone else because they changed the ordinance for a group that isn’t fully representing Tazewell County,” said Baker.
Another person, who took the podium, was Linda Long, a Mackinaw farmer. Long wants to see the ordinance changed, and she stressed the distance issue.
“Data from older models suggest that no one should be within 3,000 ft. of a wind turbine during an electrical storm. The current Tazewell County ordinance has a setback of 750 ft. of a property line of a dwelling. It’s interesting that the wind companies do not want their employees to be within 3,000 feet, but think it’s okay for the property owner to be within 750 feet,” said Long.
The rest of the public comment and rebuttal will continue on June 15th at 5:30 p.m. at the Tazewell Justice Center in Pekin.
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