More than 30 Local 150 members gathered outside of the Ogle County Courthouse on Tuesday to rally in support of wind farms before the Zoning Board meeting.
At the meeting, held in Oregon, Illinois, the Zoning Board was scheduled to consider a set of wind turbine standards that would put in place requirements so draconian that they would be "the death of wind energy in Ogle County," according to one major wind energy developer.
Members in Ogle County have watched over the past year as the Zoning Board and one of its subcommittees have considered regulations that would nearly triple the distance that turbines would have to be set back from neighboring property lines, as compared with typical setback distances in Illinois.
Around ten members spoke before the Zoning Board on Tuesday, citing wind energy's potential as a job creator as well as stating the need to bring in additional tax revenue to the County's school districts.
Over the last several years, wind farm construction has made up a large percentage of long-term employment in Districts 2, 4, and 5. In addition to the economic stimulus created by this local employment, these developments have pumped millions of dollars each year to school districts and other public bodies.
Members will rally again on March 15th, when the Zoning Board's recommendations will be discussed by the full County Board. That rally will take place outside the Courthouse in Oregon at 5:00 p.m.