PIATT COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A county in Central Illinois made the front page of the New York Times today. It’s over an issue that we’ve reported on and has created a lot of division: a proposed wind farm and it’s not over yet.
Next month the Piatt County zoning board will have its final vote.
The company, Apex Clean Energy, is proposing a 300-megawatt farm called the Goose Creek Wind Project. They say it would create more jobs, increase tax revenue and local property values. Not everyone agrees.
I spoke with a Piatt County farmer today who says for most farmers the cons simply outweigh the pros. She says farmers near the project would have to pay more in services like aerial applications and that’s because of the upcharge for flying around wind turbines. She says they would also see drainage issues on their land because of the heavy construction equipment used for installation.
Her main gripe is that most wind farm participants who offer their land don’t live in the area. She says they are usually absent landowners who don’t have to worry about the negative effects.
The zoning board votes on January 24th. If they say “yes,” the proposal will be moved to the county board in early February. I reached out to Apex this afternoon but have not heard back.