Future wind energy farms in Tazewell County?

TAZEWELL COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — The current ordinance when it comes to building wind turbines in Tazewell County is changing, and it means no farms will be built for at least six months.

Wednesday night, board members approved a six-month moratorium until the ordinance is revised. Members said this six-month hold will allow them to make the appropriate changes needed before any new wind farm is set up in Tazewell county.

“In that time we will work on amendments to the existing ordinance and get that updated,” said Tazewell County Community Development Administrator, Jaclynn Workman.

The urge for change was sparked by the United Citizens of Tazewell County. The group raised concerns about the ordinance in May.

The group presented an 18-page ordinance to the board with, hopes to see those changes come to life. It was a three-month conversation between wind energy companies, the group, attorneys, and the board.

“It does feel really good that we are able to bring a lot of the research to the county and now with the six months, they are going to take that into consideration,” said United Citizens of Tazewell County member, Amber Towle.

Workman said there will be an extensive amount of changes made.

“This ordinance was adopted back in ’04, ’05 a lot has changed, technology has changed, renewable energy is a lot more prevalent now,” said Workman.

Workman along with other members thanked the group for bringing the changes to their attention.

“We are really pleased with the fact that the county is looking at it, and we would hope that they would take the text amendment that we have proposed because it is very detailed,” said United Citizens of Tazewell County member, John Long.

Long said the top three areas they would like to see focused on are: decommissioning, setbacks which is how far the turbines are from a home and sound limits.

“In the event that these wind energy companies aren’t in a position to remove the towers, we want to have something in place that says that the county will be protected and not have to pay for that decommission,” said Long.

Board members said the plan is to make the changes within six months. Workman said they will shoot for October for a public hearing on the revisions they’ve made.

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