Wednesday night, the DeWitt County Board considered a series of ordinances surrounding the special use permit application for the Alta Farms II wind project approved last month.
Per the County's ordinances, Tradewind Energy is able to select their engineering firm for the decommissioning plan and the cost would fall on them as well, however, members of the DeWitt County Board feel it is necessary to have a review of that plan.
Terry Ferguson wanted Patrick Engineering, recommended by Logan County. Ferguson would like a second opinion and points out in Logan County, the wind company paid for the evaluation.
Dan Matthews was at the meeting virtually and chimed in with his agreement the County needed to find another engineering firm to review the agreement.
Discussion between Board Chair David Newberg and Melonie Tilley started tense and did not lessen as the meeting went along but a comment by Tilley was challenged by Newberg regarding who should be the firm to review the decommissioning plan.
Lance Reece contended the idea of finding a second engineering firm was unnecessary because the plan was going to be reviewed in three years and he felt the project would not be decommissioned in three years.
According to Reece, the discussion was centered around something that was unlikely and felt in the event a review was necessary, they could find someone to review the plan at that time.
Board Chair Newberg challenged Ferguson's idea for a review of the plan asking what he felt an appropriate cost should be. The tense exchanged quickly escalated when Tilley chimed in asking Newberg to think of the future of DeWitt County, to which Newberg chided Tilley for quote - "being his quote moral compass."
Ferguson's proposal to find a second engineering firm to review the decommissioning agreement failed and a minor change to the County's decommissioning agreement was made to have any legal action regarding the decommissioning plan take place in DeWitt County at the advisement of the State's Attorney.
Of note - Cole Ritter was not at the meeting Wednesday. Ritter also did not attend the special use application vote from July, drawing criticism to opponents of the project.
Also Wednesday night, the Board approved a signage plan for the operations of the project along with an agreement for a monthly report of complaints on the project to the zoning office by Tradewind in their logging and investigation plan.