In the last six months, we’ve learned that the Vermillion County community is very passionate about the potential of a wind project. We have had conversations with people from all over the county and have heard from all kinds of people – from those who want to sign up their land for the project to those who couldn’t see us leave fast enough. We have gotten the sense that one of the most critical issues for many folks seems to be where in the county the project is located, so we’re looking forward to working with more folks on where a project might be acceptable. We have learned a lot about this county and are excited to continue engaging with you to craft the best project we can for this community – or leave altogether.
Our hope for the next steps in this process is to provide a forum for this community to deliberate about and play a role in deciding the economic future of Vermillion County. Over the next couple months, we will be organizing different events throughout the community, soliciting feedback through widely publicized surveys, and holding open houses at our local office in Clinton. As they are scheduled, these events will be posted on our website and Facebook page. You can keep up to date as we schedule these events by signing up for our email list.
We know the Area Plan Commission is working on an ordinance to regulate wind power development. We also know that oftentimes, the way these processes play out tends to give the loudest and angriest voices on either side an outsized influence on the outcome. We aim to avoid that fight by getting feedback from everyone in the county. We will continue to engage with the APC as we have so far and be available to the county as a resource for questions as needed.
JULY – Facilitator Report and Trusted Sources
In July, the facilitators will release a report summarizing the themes and takeaways from facilitator interviews, as well as from the community survey that’s been available on the Apex website for the last few months. This report will be sent to the interview participants, county commissioners, APC members, and county council and be made available to the general public. It will also be shared on Apex’s community resources page.
We asked about what types of sources the people of Vermillion County trust most to deliver information about wind energy, but the responses we received indicated that we needed to go a bit deeper on that question. So, we’re putting out another survey to dive deeper into that question.
AUGUST – County Finance
In August, we will host an in-person and live-streamed event to discuss the current and future fiscal situation of Vermillion County and how this project may impact that situation. This will be a live presentation by Baker Tilly. Baker Tilly is the 12th largest CPA and consulting firm in the United States. Their presentation will cover the state of the county budget today and in the future, the sources of new revenue, how a wind energy project effects your taxes, how abatements work/what they do, and the potential impact from a wind farm with and without abatements. August will also include the release of the trusted sources report and beginning of a new survey on where Vermillion County residents want the money from this project to go. Like the survey before we will email all results to county commissioners, APC members, and county council.
SEPTEMBER – Mapping and Siting
At the beginning of this month, we will close the county finances survey and begin the mapping/siting exercise. These results, like all others, will be sent to county commissioners, APC members, and county council and be made available to the public. We will host an in-person/livestream presentation on mapping and siting for wind farms. Educational materials on elements affecting wind turbine/farm siting will be available in the local Clinton Apex office.
OCTOBER – Releasing Results
This month the mapping and siting survey will wrap up and we will share the results with the public as well as the county commissioners, APC, and county council.