The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Letters to the Editor

June 28, 2013

County board must update its wind farm ordinance

CAPRON — During 2003, the direction of wind energy took a dramatic step forward with a model wind ordinance produced by wind energy developers and environmental lawyers. It’s been passed around to many counties and contains a partial framework that county boards should consider when determining what issues each county should begin looking at before moving forward with a wind project.

Therein lies the problem. Many counties are overwhelmed with the magnitude of the research needed to prepare for a WECS project and simply use the model wind ordinance as the sum total of what they are willing to do in preparation for an industrial overlay in their county.

David Loomis of the Center of Renewable Energy stated this model ordinance is important to invite WECS projects into your county.

Matt Boss at a 2011 wind conference in Bloomington echoed the same words when he stated the ordinance should let developers know “you are open for business.” In other words, if a county uses this draft ordinance, it will be making a profound statement about its intentions. The county board will be stating the 10-year-old document is still relevant when the turbines have increased in size by 100 percent from around 250 feet in 2003 to today’s models at 500 feet.

Board members will be ignoring the documented effects from noise, flicker, stray current and ultimately reduced property values. They will say that 1,000 feet away from your house should still be sufficient to minimize the effects that are driving people from their homes all across the Midwest.

Vermilion County Board officials clearly heard what the current WECS project has done to many rural residents. Families know their property values and physical health have declined while the dominating effects of these industrial machines have ignored property lines, invaded homes and split neighborhoods.

The payoff comes in the form of Federal Production Tax Credits, lucrative depreciation schedules and state financial incentives for the developer, while taxes and cash increase for local government and hosting property owners.

The reality of this antiquated wind ordinance is that it has found its way into too many county zoning codes and special use agreements. The fallout today is obvious when you listen to families who live within even a 2,000-foot shadow of these industrial machines.

The upcoming financial devastation is guaranteed decades ahead when it is time to remove them and the controlling LLC has just evaporated in a well-timed bankruptcy moments before millions are needed to complete the decommissioning.

Vermilion County board members, this ancient wind ordinance you are hiding behind is nothing more than a shell. Fill it up and make it right. Your people deserve nothing less.

Marshall Newhouse resides in Capron.

1
Text Only
Letters to the Editor
  • Life spent helping others Life spent helping others Editor: For more than 50 years, on the first Sunday in March, they came from as far away as California, New York, Detroit, Dallas, the state of Florida and all throughout the Midwest to witness the glitz, glamour and fashion

    April 23, 2014

  • Wrong time for minimum wage hike Wrong time for minimum wage hike Supporters of raising minimum wage, despite good intentions, do not end up helping the ones who need it the most. An example would be a single mother of one child faces a marginal tax rate of 91 percent when her pay

    April 22, 2014

  • Son does well at Liberty

    Editor: My son, Nathaniel, attends school at Liberty Elementary School.

    April 20, 2014

  • Races charge too much Editor: Runners and walkers must beware this summer. Some 5K (3.1 mile) fundraising events will again be way overcharging. Most are put on for good causes, but it’s not a good cause to overcharge people for something they sweat for.

    April 20, 2014

  • Fight the proposed coal mine Fight the proposed coal mine Editor: In a single issue of St. Joseph's The Leader, dated March 5, one can find four events listed that testify to our love of the natural world: a bird walk, a lecture on freshwater mussels, a pre-K event at Homer Lake

    April 18, 2014

  • Searching for answers Searching for answers Editor: I'm certainly not saying the city's firefighters don't need or deserve an increase of funds, but I would like to better understand why. Why do they feel they need more personnel than the national average of 1.04 per 1000

    April 17, 2014

  • Advocate will be missed Editor: We at Community Blood Services of Illinois are saddened by the recent death of Patricia Black, a wonderful and dedicated employee who was known to a generation of local blood donors. Pat was a tireless advocate for the Danville Elks Blood Ban

    April 16, 2014

  • Social workers earn praise Editor: March was National Social Work month. The 2014 theme was "All People Matter." I personally want to say "thank you" to the social workers. I am a registered nurse and have worked in many different health care settings from acute hospital care

    April 13, 2014

  • Neighborhood going downhill Editor: Home owners and the few good rentals of southeast Danville are concerned about Fair Oaks in their neighborhood. Well, wake up people. Unless you have been in a coma or frozen for the past five years or more, these kinds of people and many wor

    April 13, 2014

  • Submit Your Letter!

    March 26, 2010