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We look forward to hearing from you.

Letter to the Editor: When Mistakes Become Decisions

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted April 28, 2018

 

Dear Editor:

 

When the wind industry erected its first industrial turbine decades ago it began a learning process. As with any new endeavor mistakes were likely made from lack of awareness. Once the companies became aware of those mistakes they needed to make a decision. Correct the issue or choose to repeat the mistake. When it came to manufacturing or operational errors surely wind companies chose to not repeat those mistakes. That decision would be detrimental to the health of the company. 

When the decision was made to start siting turbines in close proximity to people’s homes the wind energy development companies could say it was a decision made from lack of awareness.  They could state they had yet to learn it could result in problems such as visual annoyance, noise disturbance and shadow flicker. We now know for a fact that these issues are real. Some wind companies have  acknowledged these issues by investing in technologies to counter the effects while others have made their decision to continue with the ‘mistakes’ that are potentially harmful to the health and well-being of non-participating residents, but benefit the financial health of their companies.

The residents of DeWitt County are dealing with a company that surely knows siting turbines too close to people’s homes is a mistake.  In fact this company offers financial consideration for participating landowners whose residence is closer than 2,640 ft. to a turbine.  Why?  What occurs within that 2,640 feet that participating landowners need to be compensated for?

Yet prior to our recent setback ordinance update the wind energy company would have willingly located turbines 1,500 feet from non-participating properties, stating that there are no health issues and accidents rarely occur. 3,800 blade failures in one year is not my definition of rarely. Safety incidents do occur and ignoring that fact is a mistake.

“…and a mistake repeated more than once is a decision.” - Paulo Coelho

To all the committee and board members of DeWitt County, please do your duty to protect our non-participating property owners, our wildlife and our county’s future. Allow us the chance to update our comprehensive plan to define where we want future industrial wind developments and where we don’t.

Please enact a moratorium on wind energy permits now.

Please do not allow Tradewind’s mistakes to become our decisions. This is our county, our home, and we will be living with these mistakes long after they are gone.

Megan Myers

Clinton, IL
 

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Letter to the Editor: Wind Energy Development and Getting It Right

Wind Energy Development: Learning from Countries that are Getting It Right

 

Ireland has proposed new statutory guidelines for wind energy development. Key aspects of the proposal are more stringent noise limits, elimination of shadow flicker and increased setbacks. Yes, Ireland's government, along with governments in other model wind energy countries, acknowledges these are genuine concerns.

Their guidelines are supported by their “Code of Good Practice for Wind Energy Development”, which notes the importance of establishing dialogue and building trust from the very beginning of a project.  It acknowledges long-term negative impacts on a community's economic, environmental or social situation can occur when community concerns are badly managed or ignored. These guidelines came about because Ireland realized that to protect their communities things needed to be done differently.

So how would the DeWitt County residents who will be effected negatively by the proposed wind farm feel if things had been done differently? If this wind energy company had notified all county residents at the start to gather feedback, answer questions and hear concerns. If rather than focusing on how updates to local wind ordinances may negatively affect their profit, they encouraged changes to ensure the safety and well-being of our non participating land owners in the farm's footprint; if they provided a gaurantee to follow all government agency recommendations to safe guard the environment and wildlife; if they listened to our concerns rather than telling us they weren’t valid?

These companies are coming into our central Illinois counties because they need our land to make money. If they are going to be allowed to do business here then we need to demand that they start doing it differently.

We need to place a moratorium on wind energy special use permits. This would give DeWitt County time to update our strategic plan, reevaluate our wind ordinances and make sure that we control the future of our county.

Megan Myers

Clinton, IL

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Letter to the Editor on Wind Turbines in Central Illinois

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted April 9, 2018

 

Dear Editor:

 

Growing up I was told that by working hard you could achieve the goals you set in life. Our goal was obtaining the American dream.
Having a great wife to support me and kids to bring happiness to our life and eventually grandkids Life has been fairly good for us but we have worked hard to get where we are.living the American Dream.
Well my wife and I did this starting our American dream in 1973 by building our first home in Clinton.
Then we decided to dream a little bigger and built a couple others upgrading each time to what we thought was perfect for us. Then in the late 90’s decided our dream should move to rural Dewitt county so we purchased property in the country and built the home of our dreams again!
A place where we could spend time outside if we wished her in her flower garden and me not doing much of anything(except mowing) and enjoying the out doors.

Forward ahead to present days I’am in my late 60’s thinking of retiring sometime and enjoying life with my wife in our country setting.
Now in late 2017 after what they say has been going on for several years Tradewinds is wanting to invade our country setting with an industrial wind farm. Taking away the the fantastic sunsets that Mother Nature gives us and instead replacing it with hundreds of blinking lights,and possible health hazards.
This of course is denied by Tradewinds who will be giving the farm to an Italian company. They care nothing about our county or the people living in rural Illinois. Once they are finished ruining the county for the next 20-30 years they will pack up and leave and the rural home owners will be stuck with their mess for generations to come.
To make a long story short if you live in the rural part of Dewitt county and want to live the American dream you had better do it quick because it will soon disappear,along with your property value. Some say decline as much as 20-40 %. Tradewinds developer says it will come back in a few years after the towers are up.I personally find this statement very hard to believe.

It is happening all around us right now and they are using our tax dollars to do it.Country living will never be safe as long as this practice exists.
Dozens and dozens of Dewitt county residents are fighting right now to protect their American dream. Many have already talked before the county board and the zoning board to get the word out to protect their dream of life in the country.
Some counties are closer to winning the battle than Dewitt county,but what I have read it is an ongoing fight.
Dewitt county has several good people fighting hard to protect the rural population from the wind farms. Do what you can to support them before the American Dream is lost forever in this county.

 

Mike Tilley
Clinton Il

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Letter to the Editor: Turbine Blight Possible in DeWitt County

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted April 6, 2018

 

Dear Editor:

 

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, as the old saying goes.


I’m sure we’re all after the same basic financial objectives, return on investment. More typically, I would look at return on equity, but we’ll skip that.

 

Most of you would at least be familiar with buying CD’s or maybe even US Treasuries, and you wouldn’t run out right now and lock in a 30 year deal, if you knew that in the future, the returns would certainly be higher. This Tower offer is pretty much the same.

 

A land-owner could lock in now, a return on their farmland for thirty years.. You and I could estimate and probably agree on the present value of that average yield, in dollars, and add the present value of the tower income to that. That’s the maximum it would be worth.

 

But, let's take a more pragmatic, long term approach to economic development, versus our surrounding Counties, Some time back, rumors circulated that a large distribution center, such as a Wal-Mart, might be looking for a central location, which offered convenient access to multiple Interstates and highways.

 

A much more viable economic development strategy would be to maintain our County as a Sanctuary County, free from "Turbine Blight". These will not be shiny new white tall things for very long. Rust never sleeps.

 

Our county would be prime real estate if we were to remain the only wide open expanse of acreage, unencumbered by 30 year leases to unsustainable "Wind Farms" within central Illinois.

If we kept DeWitt County totally free of these 30 year encumbrances, on much of our available acreage that would be a “Gold Mine” in the making.

 

Compare our tiny little slice of Bald Eagle refuge in central Illinois area, versus the aftermath of this rapid expansion of tall unsightly Wind Farms. Unbelievably, the U.S. Fish & Wild Life Services exempted Wind Farms and gave them 30 years within which to kill the American Bald Eagle although it would be a Felony for you and me.

 

They want to deface about a third of the State with their Project. Their plan will obliterate the horizon for most of central Illinois, a vast agricultural flatland between St. Louis and Chicago.

 

Technology is changing fast. Hypothetically, what if Apple or Amazon needed a large tract of land, but desired one free of environmental clutter and potential health hazards as well. You, my friends, would be just about the best place to locate. But where would you get engineers for a scenario like that, the University of Illinois?

 

This Global Energy giant is steam-rolling across one third of Illinois, Forsyth, for example, has now found that they have little to no growth opportunities, with little more available acreage to offer to anyone. Let's view this for the longer term future of our county. This is a bad deal for the future of our County.

 

Sincerely,

Bradley D. Barnes, MBA
Clinton, Illinois

 

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