Ethanol Plant Protest

By: Mark Lindner
By: Mark Lindner

The battle to keep an ethanol plant away from the south western corner of Winnebago County waged on Sunday afternoon.

"We don't want the ethanol plant to go up, we've got a lot of concerns about the ground water pollution its going to cause," says Sandy Harkonen, who lives close to the proposed site.

Neighbors who live adjacent to the proposed site of the ethanol plant gathered to protest on the side of Meridian Road. The protest coincided with a picnic held at the Winnebago County Farm Bureau by the plant's developer, Wight Partners. John Goebel, Vice President of Wight Partners, told 23 News off camera the company had no comment about the message on these signs. But not everyone wanted to be mute.

"Hopefully this will discourage some of their prime targets from investing in this fiasco and to let them know we are not going away," says Mary Osborn, who lives close to the proposed site.

Eight individuals and families' message is simple. They'll see Winnebago County board members in court.

"We are suing to not have this plant built and moreover to have the zoning decision reversed. We are prepared for this to come back down for a proper hearing with proper evidence," Osborn says.

Protesters say most of their problems are with the way the County Board has handled the situation.

"They're not giving us any answers on our property values, the pollution, all the noise that the truck traffic is gonna cause," Harkonen says.

"They've switched gears to try and draw heavy industrial into this area. And this ethanol plant isn't going to be the only heavy industrial they try to put out here," Osborn says.

From the beginning protesters have said they are not against ethanol production....it's the location brings them to the side of the road.

All sides will be in court on Thursday.


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