Objections centered around existing problems which some residents are having with the Big Sky wind farm near Ohio. Those problems were stated by objectors as interrupted television reception, shadow flickering caused by the turning turbine blades, noise levels, and the lack by the Big Sky owners to take care of those problems in a timely fashion.
Mark Wagner, a supporter of greater wind farm regulations in Lee County, said the letter is the "same old story." "They say the problems won't happen, and then they do," he said. "They don't remediate the problems because you have to physically move the turbines; they won't do that. They'll pay you off and keep you quiet. That's the pattern we're seeing."
Evanston officials began studying a citizens initiative several years ago, proposing Lake Michigan seven miles off Evanston's shore would be an ideal place for a wind farm.
The original concept called for 40 turbines.
The Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals expects to make its recommendation next week as to whether or not to grant an extension for conditional use permits issued three years ago for the Walnut Ridge wind farm project.
"The county ordinance was developed by planning people in many communities," he said. "I think the research done on it was very extensive. We're looking at it (a local wind ordinance) for the protection of our residents but also to allow wind turbines in reasonable circumstances.
With power at a cost of 8 cents a kilowatt, the turbines would save the city $576 a year in rebates from ComEd ...And with a project cost of $213,500, the city decided that amount of savings was not enough.
One resident at the meeting still wants the county to reconsider its wind ordinance before moving through the application process.
Rankin-area resident Kim Cambron distributed some information about her safety concerns regarding wind turbines.
Porter said a lot of new information has been learned about wind farms since Bureau County issued the three-year Walnut Ridge conditional use permits in 2008, in the months of August, November and December.
Bureau County needs to go back to its zoning ordinances and stipulations before going ahead.
Apparently, some board members didn't know of the proposed project until they read about it in the newspaper.
At the board's monthly meeting Tuesday, member Bill Milby, whose district includes Deer Grove, said a number of people have contacted him expressing their concerns about the proposed wind farm.
By a 9-5 vote the Warren County Board last week approved a revised lease with Monarch Wind Power LLC for the delayed wind farm project planned ...The fact that Monarch has not broken ground was of considerable concern to Stahl and board members Marvin Hawk, Stephen Johnson and Dave Jenks.
Senate Bill 167, introduced by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, would allow communities without a zoning ordinance to restrict the development within 1.5 miles of town.
Anderson said she never had problems with television reception or shadow flickering before the Big Sky wind farm went on line. She is also hearing about some people having health issues, like migraine headaches and nausea, from wind farms.
On Tuesday night, trustees said the latest extension was necessary because the Plan Commission is currently holding public hearings to gather supplementary testimony on the subject.
A lawsuit seeking an injunction against a proposed tri-county wind farm in this area remains unresolved, and a follow-up hearing has been set for April 29 in Rockford federal court, attorneys say.
Meanwhile, planning efforts continue for the wind farm, which would stretch across Stephenson, Ogle, and Winnebago counties.
After going through a long process to get the wind farm through the zoning board and approved by the county board last year, in December Monarch requested an extension of their lease. It needed the extra time because the lease included a clause allowing the county to terminate the lease if Monarch was not producing electricity by August.
Another problem is the noise, Next Era says the turbines sounds like a refrigerator running, Stephanie says while that is true some times, it's not all the time. She says sometimes it sounds like a jet engine, other times like metal being shaken, and a few times the turbines will start whistling.
"As the sun comes across the sky, it hits the turbine blades and causes this flicker," she said.
Nearby homeowners say it can go on for hours. "When it first happened, we felt there was something wrong with the electricity because it felt like every light was blinking,"said Barb Draper.
"On, off, on, off as the blade caught the sun it made a very disturbing motion. It almost made you sick to your stomach." added Bob Draper.
A final decision on whether to extend the conditional use permits for the proposed Walnut Ridge wind farm will not be made until at least March 17.
More than 100 people filled the large courtroom in the Bureau County Courthouse Monday night for the resumed Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. The meeting had begun Feb. 17, but was recessed after 30 minutes because the developer of the project did not have legal counsel.
"It sounds like an airport at my house and I live in the country," Al Harris, an Ohio resident for eight years, said.
"You can't go outside and enjoy the peace and quiet," Deb Anderson, a 16-year resident of Ohio, said. ...The giant arms of the turbines cast spinning shadows over their homes and through their windows all day long.
And the noise is 10 to 20 decibels over the maximum allowed amount.
An official from PNE Wind USA Inc. confirmed Friday the company intends to erect a wind farm in northern Tazewell County and has just finished a meteorological tower that will help the company determine the number and size of the turbines it will use.