FORD COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A fallen wind turbine has county officials revisiting a new law. The Ford County Vice Chairman said situations like that are why they have certain ordinances in place.
“How close is too close? How close are you comfortable having your family or your residents from a wind tower that can come down,” said Emily Lattz, a homeowner in Ford County, “Why should the rights of the county be taken away for them to self-govern setbacks and what’s right for their constituents and their residents?”
Lattz said she wasn’t a fan of the turbines before. After the collapse and a new state law, she doesn’t see that changing.
Now counties can’t set rules against solar and energy facilities more restrictive than the state. Ford County Board’s Vice Chairman Cindy Ihrke said this new law doesn’t take the people who are actually affected by it into account.
Ihrke said one of her concerns is by the state forcing this change on the counties, people will be less willing to understand it. She said public hearings allow them to learn about turbines, understand them, and trust their local ordinances will protect them.
“I think that does give people the ability. They don’t have fear when something new comes in. They understand that they can work with it. I do think that would help,” said Ihrke.
Ihrke said counties have 120 days from the signing of the bill to figure out how to move forward. The fallen wind turbine is being handled by the company.
The county is working on ways to protect its local community in the case of any future mishaps.