Logan County, IL. (ECWd) –
reposted from the New Herald News:
County Board hears testimony for and mostly against Meridien Wind Park project
January 16, 2015 – It was another late night for the Logan County Board as over 100 county residents and other interested persons gathered on the third floor of the Logan County Courthouse to hear testimony regarding the Meridian Wind Park project that RelightUS wants to develop south and west of Mount Pulaski.
A total of 26 people spoke during the first two hours of the meeting. Three were associated with RelightUS. Relight Vice President Robert Paladino gave a brief history of the Meridien project, and cited the Logan County’s Economic Development Master Plan, published in May 2011, that promotes the County’s goal of being “Illinois’ wind capital.”
“Our goal here, our purpose of coming here, is to fulfill the Master Plan. Our goal was to come to a county that was welcoming us, that wanted us here, that wanted us to invest our money. And we have done that. We’ve spent millions of dollars developing this project. We have given this board documents which we think will support a finding that this project will have no impact on property values or on health effects,” said Paladino.
Paladino said the Meridien project represents a $400 million investment that will provide approximately $3.3 million in annual economic benefit from property taxes and payments to landowners.
Following Paldino was sound engineer Robert O’Neal of Epsilon Associates, the firm that did conducted the sound studies for the Meridien project, and Dr. Robert McCunney, an MIT researcher who studies the hazards and health impacts of exposure to occupational or environmental factors.
Twenty speakers argued against the project, most citing grave concerns about the effects of infrasound, shadow flicker, and the loss of quality of life they’ve enjoyed living in a rural environment. Kella Alspach presented the Board with copies of petitions signed by 802 county residents opposing the project. Lisa Leonard told the Board that 13 of the proposed turbines would be within one mile of her and her parents’ homes, and that 302 homes would be within a mile of at least one turbine. By comparison, there are only 44 homes within a mile of any turbine in the Railsplitter wind farm in northern Logan County, so the potential impact of the Meridien project on Logan County residents is significantly greater than the Railsplitter project.
Logan County Farm Bureau President Dave Opperman was succinct.
“We are not in favor of any rezoning pertaining to special use in this project. And secondly, our Board of Directors are also unanimously opposed to the Relight wind farm project and encourage a ‘no’ vote. Thank you,” said Opperman.
Bill Gossett cautioned the Board against viewing the project through rose colored classes and reminded them that “all that glitters is not gold.”