LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Posted April 6, 2018
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.
Bradley D. Barnes, MBA