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Letter to the Editor: Newberg's Folly


Posted July 8, 2020

Correction submitted and posted July 10, 2020


Dear Editor:


First, do no harm.


The citizens of DeWitt County, who are unlucky enough to be in the footprint of the proposed wind farm, are asked to suffer and sacrifice so Chairman of the County Board, Dave Newberg, and his group of YES votes, will have another stream of income for the County.  None of these six County Board members voting YES have homes located near proposed wind towers.


These are no ordinary wind turbines.  Some are 599 feet high, only 31 feet shorter than the St. Louis Arch, and there are lots of them.  There is only one St. Louis Arch, and it does not make noise, blink red lights at night continuously, or send giant moving shadow flickers across the countryside.  


What about the lives at risk of the people downwind from the wind farm who will be without the Doppler early warning system for tornado activity? The Doppler radar would be obscured by the wind turbine blade activity. 


Aren’t these DeWitt County residents’ lives valuable? 


One Board member told me that the wind farm project income stream was “for the greater good.” And what is “the greater good”?  Are we choosing money over public safety?


Speaking of money, we now know that the Clinton Schools will not get a very significant sum of money from the wind farm because we have been blessed for many years by the income from the power plant and the State of Illinois formula for school funding limits the wind farm subsidy to the schools.


It is just plain wrong to approve the Special Use Permit on July 14 without a mutually agreed upon decommissioning plan in place before the vote. In addition, we can’t trust Tradewind Energy to “pursue” a system that stops those never-ending blinking red lights at night (when aircraft are not in the area of the towers.)
We have precedence for selling out DeWitt County. Years ago, the Board sold the landfill and lost control of that.  The landfill, now operated by Area Disposal Corporation, is located over the Mahomet aquifer that supplies water to several adjoining counties, and has risen to the heights of “Mount Clinton” and keeps growing!  Garbage comes in from many states. 


We need to stop selling our County off to the highest bidder.

In the future, every time we look at these turbines built in the western part of DeWitt County, we need to remember Newberg’s Folly, and the legacy of grabbing the money instead of protecting our friends and neighbors in the footprint of this foreign-owned wind farm.  


Mary Pat Killian
Clinton, IL 



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