Wind Farm Issue Heats Up in Boone County

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BOONE COUNTY (WIFR) – Supporters of a new plan that will make it harder for wind energy companies to build turbines in the county are taking heat from those who say it’s a proposal against clean energy.

The Boone County Board may be split on an upcoming vote this Wednesday on an ordinance that would increase the distance requirements from properties that don’t want turbines built nearby.

That distance is called a setback, which right now sits at 1,000 feet, but the ordinance is calling for that number to go up, meaning turbines would have to be built 1,500 feet away from properties that simply don’t want to have to deal with the large wind energy harvesters. Some board members say increasing the distance could force companies to rethink building in the county and land owners are split on what the could mean for their region.

“We’re for them because first of all, it’s good clean safe energy that’s good for Illinois. The other reason we’re for them is because our community needs them. The tax revenue would be great, the payments to the farmers would be great,” said Deb Doetch.

We are not against green energy, we are not wind farms in general, what we are for is safe setbacks and we are for a county text amendment that represents both sides on the issue,” said Julie Van Laar.

We asked board members if Wednesday’s vote was for an ordinance banning wind farming in the county and they said no, it would just change the setbacks to the greater distance.

Some property owners have already leased land out to wind energy companies and those contracts should be in jeopardy if the ordinance passes.

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