DANVILLE, IL. (ECWd) -
March 11, 2014. Vermilion County Board Meeting.
The March meeting began on time at 6 pm. Chairman Weimar was absent and the meeting was conducted by vice-chairman Marron. The monthly agenda was adopted. The February meeting minutes were approved. The vice-chairman lets us know that under audience comments the limit will be 5 minutes per person with a total time of 30 minutes.
Video of this meeting is located at THIS Vermilion County link.
Under audience comments this week, Kirk Allen, from Edgar County is the first to speak. Mr. Allen continued to educate Vermilion County on the Open Meetings Act which is clearly needed. Mr. Allen states that through his research he has found that 93% of state agencies are not in compliance with the open meetings act. Mr. Allen further states that it is unreasonable to require the public to sign in to be able to speak as determined by the attorney general. In addition, the agenda cannot be changed after it has been published for public review at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting. Further, things not on the agenda cannot be brought before a vote. This last item is in reference to the appointment of board member Dodge to the committee to over-saw the failed sale of the county farm ground. A motion was made, seconded and a vote taken to approve Mr. Dodge at the February meeting. As Mr. Allen has shown, counsel for the county board is once again ignorant of the law regarding the open meetings act, or blatantly disregards the law and allows the county to run the meeting however they like. Mr. Allen is only asking that the county comply with the most basic principles of the Open Meetings Act.
Next to speak under public comments if Arthur Kronkite, from Henning in Vermilion county. Mr. Kronkite reviewed the issues surrounding the industrial wind turbines in Vermilion County. He started with $100 million hard earned tax payer dollars given to wind developers to build the wind cluster in Vermilion county, to the board member and Republican Party leader, who along with his family receives substantial payments from the wind industry and is charged with protecting all of the county residents since he is the vice-chairman of the the county structural safety committee that over-sees approval of wind turbine applications. We also have county board members and county leader’s board that have attended wind industry sponsored seminars to learn about all the so called “good” things about wind turbines. At these seminars they learn among other things about how to deal with public opposition to wind turbines in the rural community. Mr. Kronkite states that the board has heard speaker after speaker testify before this board. Some that have cried, pleaded and cajoled the board to do something to help them. Yet, the board continues to sit and do nothing and are as Mr. Kronkite puts it, “be prostitutes of the modern robber barons” that is the wind industry. Mr. Kronkite asks is it cowardice or complicity that causes the board to ignore the facts. Once again Mr. Kronkite nails it when describing the actions of the Vermilion county board. Please see his full comments on the video.
Lee Miller speaks next about the sale of the county farm ground. He notes that the amount of land to be sold does not match the amount of ground that was placed for auction. He suggests an on-line auction or cash rent if the ground cannot be sold. Mr. Miller also questions the amount of taxes to be paid on the county nursing home. He notes that the current owner should be paying some of the property taxes for last year. Mr. Miller also suggests that the county issue bonds in lieu of the farm land sale to acquire the money needed for county improvements. This way after the bond is paid off, the county would still own the land.
The next public speaker is Ted Hartke. Mr. Hartke and his family have been forced to move from their home due to inaction by the Vermilion County Board to properly regulate the placement of industrial wind turbines. Mr. Hartke promises the board that he will continue to plead his case to them and the state, until they take the proper action to resolve the numerous issues with industrial wind turbines. He will not accept the do nothing, laziness, and lame excuses that the Vermilion County Board continues to hide behind. Mr. Hartke continues to plead his case before the board before more people are harmed in the Hoopeston and Rossville areas.
The next public speaker is Mr. Lomax from Pilot Township in Vermilion County. Mr. Lomax notes that there was no sound equipment anywhere near his house for the Invenergy sound study even though he has complained before to the county board! Mr. Lomax also notes that he may not be able to live in the county if the taxes continue to increase. And he cannot sell his house since he lives in the middle of the Invenergy wind cluster and no one would buy his house due to the noise from the turbines. That is all he has to say.
Mr. Dave Miles of Armstrong is the next speaker. Mr. Miles and family lives in the middle of the Invenergy wind cluster in Pilot Township. Mr. Miles describes living with the Invenergy turbines as living in a torture chamber. He notes that Vermilion County does not have adequate setbacks and the residents have no protection from industrial wind turbines. Mr. Miles asks the board why do they think that the negative issues from the industrial wind turbines won’t continue to harm him and his family? Mr. Miles tells the board that they have been lied to about the noise and shadow flicker issues by the wind company. Mr. Miles tells that that he has firsthand knowledge about the loud noise, shadow flicker and negative health affect from the industrial turbines. He tells the board that since the turbines have been turned on, his daughter has been diagnosed with exaggerated motion sickness which causes nausea and headaches and vomiting. He surmises that the county board did no research when setting up the Vermilion County Wind Ordnance which should protect the residents of the county. Mr. Miles' comments ends the public comment part of the monthly meeting. Once again the county hears numerous complaints about issues with industrial wind turbines in the county. It should be noted that there are many others in the county that also have the same issues, but cannot or are not able to come before their county board to make their problems publicly known.
Mr. Bill Wright presents a county proclamation in association with the National Association of Counties, making April 2014 National County Government Month.
Sheryl Reifstack present Vermilion County Sheriff Hartshorn with a check for $17,000 for the county D.A.R.E program from the Regional Office of Schools.
Vice-chairman Marron announces a board member vacancy for Vermilion County District 5.
The county farm ground is still for sale after not meeting the minimum bid requirement. The amount for sale was determined to be 113 acres, the remaining amount is determined not to be tillable and won’t be sold at this time. It took several rounds of questions and answers from several board members before the Chairman and the Attorney finally admitted that the problem was not that the remainder is untillable, but rather that it is a sewage treatment facility and a financial liability.
Next up circus master Mike Blazer speaks for Invenergy and California Ridge industrial wind turbines that are bothering so many people in Vermilion County. He states that the county board members were given pictures of lightning strikes that GE has determined was the cause of one of the turbine failures. He clarifies his previous statement that Invenergy notified the FAA as required when the power went out in November when in fact they did not notify the FAA. **This verifies what we have said for the past three months - that Invenergy and California Ridge never contacted the FAA to report the lighting outage**. He states that Invenergy has tried to contact the FAA several times and has not received any response. Board member Bill Wright requests that Invenergy continue to contact the FAA and asks if the wind cluster has a backup power source during these type of failures. Mr. Blazer responds that he has no idea. Mr. Miller asks if the county wind ordinance has any penalties in the ordinance. Mr. Donahue states that yes the ordinance allows for penalties but they are open to interpretation, I assume his interpretation. Mr. Blazer proceeds to notify the board that the California Ridge wind cluster is in compliance with the IPCB standards even though many families within the complex are being tortured by the noise. Board member Dodge ask when the IPCB rules governing wind turbines went into effect – Blazer responds – 1986, long before there were any wind turbines in Illinois. Board member Green asks if we are still seeing low frequency noise impact people, then where do we go from here? Hankard responds that the industry is still evaluating LFN and no scientific conclusions have been completed. Board member A.J. Wright asks who paid for the sound study and Mr. Blazer confirms that Invenergy paid for their own study. Board member Johnson asks what about Mr. Lomax who has indicated on many occasions that he has issues with noise from Invenergy turbines. Mr. Blazer responds that he has not received any complaints from Mr. Lomax. Mr. Blazer suggests that he call the complaint hot line. Board member Bill Wright try’s to get Mr. Hankard or Mr. Blazer to admit that even though their study shows they meet the limits of the IPCB, that the wind turbines are still the source of the issues with Vermilion county wind victims. Mr. Blazer dodges the question. It appears from the wind study that the county will do nothing to help the residents and as for Hartke, Miles and Lomax, it will only be resolved through negotiations and/or litigation with Invenergy. It should be noted that after Mr. Blazer was dismissed, an elected official asked to be recognized (just like Mr. Long was allowed to speak) and it was ignored by Vice-Chairman Marron. Once again we see Mr. Marron (Mike Marron (22239 N. 180 East Road, Fithian, IL. 61844, [email protected] or 217-841-5269) who is getting paid by the wind industry try to shut down anyone who questions what is going on in Vermilion County with industrial wind turbines. In fact, it is Mr. Blazer’s company, Invenergy, that is paying Marron and his family!
Chairman’s comments- the county is in final negotiations with the city of Danville to provide animal control.
Next meeting will be April 15th at 6PM at the Danville Courthouse annex. Note this is not the second Tuesday of the month due to the conflict with the annual township meetings.