ROBERTS — For the second time in as many months, the central Ford County village of Roberts has filed a formal protest of proposed changes to the county’s ordinance regulating wind farms.
The village board voted during its Dec. 3 meeting to send a resolution to the county board stating that the village opposes the ordinance changes that were proposed on Nov. 1 by the county’s zoning board of appeals. The proposed changes are now being considered by the 12-member county board.
The village’s resolution — which was signed by all six trustees and the board’s president — states that the village specifically opposes the zoning board’s recommendation for increasing the setback between wind turbines and primary structures to 1,800 feet. The village instead is requesting the county adopt a setback of at least 3,250 feet — and not from primary structures but from property lines.
The village also opposes the zoning board’s recommendation to allow turbines as tall as 600 feet, requesting instead that the county keep the turbine height limit unchanged at 500 feet.
Two months earlier, the village board approved a nearly identical resolution. The only difference was the town’s objections were related to ordinance changes recommended by the county board’s zoning committee, rather than the zoning board of appeals.
"There are a number of questions to be answered concerning visual intrusion, noise levels, effects on wildlife and other animals, safety of citizens, television reception (and) decommissioning costs," stated both the Dec. 3 and Oct. 1 resolutions.
Like the village of Roberts, some rural residents have been pushing for a 3,250-foot setback from property lines, claiming that anything less than that distance could leave them at risk of the adverse health effects from the noise and shadow flicker wind turbines can create, as well as prevent them from using all of their land without fear of ice throws or blade throws from failed turbines.
The village has already established a zoning perimeter of 1.5 miles around the town’s corporate limits to regulate the construction of wind turbines in that specific area.
At least one wind-farm developer is eyeing the Roberts area for a wind farm. Pattern Development has been signing up landowners for its proposed Heritage Prairie Wind Farm in the Roberts and Piper City area.
Also at the village board’s Dec. 3 meeting:
➜ It was announced that the seats of trustees Sara Waterson, John Viner and Sharon King will be up for election next April for four-year terms. Residents interested in becoming candidates can find nominating petitions on Ford County’s website, http://fordcounty.illinois.gov, under the "County Clerk & Recorder" tab and then clicking on "Petition Paperwork." Nominating petitions must be completed and filed by Monday, Dec. 17.
➜ Water department employee Paul Theesfield said 616,300 gallons of water were pumped in the village in November.
➜ Village Board President Rick Flessner said he had contacted a company regarding the patching of the paint on the water tower.
➜ Maintenance employee David Fuoss said he worked on the town’s clock and purchased plow parts from Chambana Sales in Champaign.
➜ Resident Elizabeth Jackson notified the board that she will be conducting "life coaching" classes.
➜ Ordinance enforcement officer Janet Walker, who took over the position last month following the resignation of Stan Daro, said she purchased a new phone for use in her position, and service was reinstated at no cost.
➜ The board reviewed its schedule of meetings for 2019.
➜ The board approved the village’s annual tax levy ordinance.