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TAYLORVILLE — Text amendments relating to the wind turbine proposals received approval Tuesday night during their recent assembly of the Christian County Board. Some board members and about 12 gallery members would convene in person at the Christian County Courthouse; other members would participate remotely.
The wind projects have been under scrutiny by concerned landowners who would later found Protect Christian County (PCC). PCC, a group who is adamant about not being against the wind projects, has stated since the beginning that their overall concerns surround the safety issues of the project and their turbines. The group and their legal counsel Phillip Luetkehans would help in the drafting of these text amendments.
Specifics on the PCC text amendments
The amendments from PCC specifically state guidelines regarding maximum turbine height, shadow flicker, and other factors such as setbacks where the turbines can be built. The setback, per the amendment, is just slightly further than a half-mile.
Despite a lengthy discussion in public comments, there was a brief discussion on the legality regarding delaying a final vote to December. It was briefly mentioned by legal counsel Ben Jacobi that delaying such a decision could result in legal action. With limited further discussion, the board would vote on the amendments as approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Text amendments pass
The motion to approve the amendments would pass via a 10-6 vote.
Those voting in the affirmative is Venise McWard, Timothy Carlson, Craig Corzine, and Charles DeClerck. Also voting yes are Donna Hibbetts, Vicki McMahon, Molly Alaria, Dale Livingston, Phil Schneider, and Matt Wells.
Linda Curtin, Brian Wilbur, Ray Koonce, Clark Pearce, Mike McClure and chairwoman Becky Edwards were those voting against.
The text amendments are TX20-02 through TX20-06. The Zoning Board of Appeals was approved as part of a combined ordinance.
The more stringent amendments are listed in TX20-05 and TX20-06. More specific amendments mention the setback from residences of five times the turbine height or 3,250 feet, whichever is higher. Property line setbacks are three times the turbine height or 1,640 feet, also whichever is higher.
Additional amendments include a maximum turbine height of 450 feet and a massive liability insurance requirement of $5 million per incident and $10 million aggregate.
A reading of the communications and other committee reports were made and approved. The following is a summary in brief.
The committee overseeing Highway, Building, Grounds, Environmental, Zoning, and Welfare did not meet since the last meeting.
The committee on Executive, Personnel, Liquor, and Legislative matters did meet Monday. The following would take place:
Discussion to approve new Liquor License request from Caplin Torres.
Discuss and approve hold harmless agreement with Montgomery County for ESDA use of property.
Inquiries about Health Department procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Discuss COVID-19 reimbursement reporting.
Review job description for Assistant to the Board/HR position.
Personnel issues and/or personnel/other county policies/procedures, personnel or labor updates, or any other matters or referrals that properly come before the committee and/or public comments and/or executive session for any personnel issue.
The Audit and Finance committee (which also handles purchasing and budgets) would meet twice in the past month. The following are details on the August 27 and September 10 meetings:
Review the proposed office budgets and discuss them.
Referrals from other committees, any other matters that are properly brought before the board.
Approve claims as presented for September.
Speakers requesting to address the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) report are Bruce Barry, Mary Renner, Montgomery Chairman Evan Young, Heather Hampton-Knodle. Motion to accept the CEDS report.
Approve Resolution to accept a donation from the Macon County Public Safety Training Foundation to upgrade the 911 System.
Budget discussions including ESDA review, Sheriff’s review, Public Defender supplies/equipment, Chief Probation Officer salary and non-bargaining salary increases.
Approve the $300 annual allotted funding to Langleyville Cemetery caretaker.
The board would vote to extend the emergency declaration proclamation until their next board meeting.
The board would also approve use of the courthouse grounds for Chilifest.
With no mileage and per diem report presentation and no re-appointments and terms, the board would adjourn at 8:35 p.m.
The board will once again meet October 20 for their monthly meeting.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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