DANVILLE, IL. (ECWd) –
This months Vermilion County Board meeting was held at 6PM, and after the invocation, pledge of allegiance and roll call, audience comments on agenda items only was addressed. Videos from both public comment session are below. This part of the audience comments, for agenda items only, was recently changed due to the numerous people speaking out against the inadequacies of the county wind ordinance. The atmosphere of the entire meeting was being set by the vocal opposition of the people, and the board was getting tired of listening to the comments so they moved it to the end of the meeting. The speakers for the agenda items were:
- Jerry Hawker – was opposed to the increase in animal shelter fee for adoptions. Based on his years of experience at the shelter, he felt that the increase to $175 for puppies would cause fewer animals to be adopted. This resolution was later sent back to committee.
- Kim Cambron asked that all speakers speak clearly and loudly since she had trouble hearing at the back of the room. Mrs. Cambron was repeatedly interrupted by Bob Fox demanding to know if she was recording the meeting – even though he does not have the right to have that question answered as there is no expectation of privacy during a public meeting, and he should always assume it is being recorded.
- Mr. Nixon and Mr. Jim Watson also spoke against the animal shelter fee increase for adoptions.
- Mr. Ted Hartke of PilotTownship spoke against the GIS fee increase saying that it would significantly affect his business and may cause some easements not to be recorded. Mr. Hartke also requested from the board the costing by the county for 2011 & 2012 for the GIS mapping.
After dispensing with all of the readings, several agenda resolutions for delinquent taxes, the City/County agreement and GIS fee increase and contract approval, all were approved by the board with 24 yes votes and 3 absent. At this point the county clerk, Lynn Foster made the statement that the previous vote counts were incorrect, since she had counted Larry Mills as voting yes and he had passed away last month. She said that she would correct the voting going forward.
No vote was taken on the animal shelter fee increase. The board realized that they had made an error in their assesment of the increase, listened to the public comments and tabled the vote to send it back to committee. All other resolutions passed, 23 yes, 3 absent, 1 vacant except for one no vote on the Building and Grounds amendment by Terry Stahl.
Chairman’s comments: new committee assignment will be coming up due to there no longer being a Nursing home committee. The board sold the county nursing home to a private company last month with the loss of 39 good paying county jobs. Committee members will be reduced from 9 to 7 members.
Audience comments for items not on the agenda: At this point of the meeting, Robert Fox (District 6, 3304 Independence Dr.Danville, IL. 61832, 217-446-1122, [email protected]) and John Dreher (District 7, 22 McVey St. Danville, IL. 61832, 217-443-8167, [email protected]) left the meeting. Last month both Mr. Fox and Mr. Dreher left the meeting during the audience comments part of the agenda. Tonight’s speakers were again people who are concerned about the county’s weak wind ordinance. The speakers were:
- David Mills – Mr. Mills is a current victim of the Invenergy wind complex approved by the county. He continues to have issues with noise and has difficulty living in his home. Additionally he corrected several misleading statements by the county assistant states attorney about the wind problems that Mr. Mills and his family are facing. They were no response or questions from the board.
- Mr. Ted Hartke – Mr. Hartke again stated that his has several issues with noise from the county approved wind turbines. He told the board that he would be at there service for any help they needed with this issue and again invited them to his home to see the affects the noise has had on him and his wife and children. There was no response or question from the board.
- Gina Isabelli – Ms. Isabelli is from rural Muncie and is having terrible problems with noise from the county approved wind complex. She has an Invenergy turbine less than 1000 feet from her family home. She stated that she must keep a fan or radio on in the house at all times to try to block out the noise from the turbines. She and her family planned on retiring in their home, but now they cannot stand to live there. There was no response from the board.
- Jessica Hartke – Mrs. Hartke told the board about issues her family is having from the county approved industrial wind complex. There was no response from the board.
- Jeremy Lomax – Mr. Lomax pointed out to the board that there are many in the county that are now having issues with the noise from Invenergy complex in Pilot township. He noted that there are many signs up at homes in the community protesting the negative effects the turbines are having on the families. More than once he asked the board what he should do about his home since he has started having difficulties living in it. There was no response from the board.
- Kirk Allen – Mr. Allen stated that he was from Kansas, Illinois and asked where public notice of the meeting was posted on the building as required by the open meetings act. He was informed by the chairman that the notice was at the county office on the 3rd floor. Mr. Allen also pointed out that the public had the right to ask questions of the board, according to the Counties Code, and with that comes the right to expect answers.
- Kim Cambron – Mrs. Cambron spoke on the numerous negative effects of industrial wind turbines on the families of Vermilion County.
- Darrell Cambron – Mr. Cambron pointed out that the neighboring county to the north, Iroquois county, is looking to update their wind ordinance due to complaints with noise and other negative issues associated with industrial wind turbines. He requested that they look to Iroquois county ordinance changes to also correct the problems with the Vermilion county ordinance. It was also noted that without a strong wind ordinance, the people of VermilionCounty will be reduced to filing a lawsuit to protect their property and families. As an example, a lawsuit from Oregon was submitted that cost the person tens of thousands of dollars to prepare and file. It was against the same company as the one approved by the county board for operations in VermilionCounty (Invenergy). Mr. Cambron closed by urging the board to change the ordinance and saying it is always the right time to do the right thing.
The next board meeting is September 10th at 6PM at the courthouse annex on the second floor in Danville.
First Public Comment Session:
Second Public Comment Session: