An Illinois Watchdog Group called out a fee schedule posted on the Morgan County website for the Apex Clean Energy application for the Lincoln Land Wind Project. The fee schedules for the siting of wind turbines are rarely made public. Morgan County Planning Commission Director Dusty Douglas says it was a piece of their application that didn’t need to be public.
“We removed the application for a bit from the site. Apex had disclosed some financial terms, on their part that they asked us to remove, and in order to remove those, we had to break the link for a while. It has nothing to do with the application, it is their interactions with local landowners, and frankly that’s not something we get involved with.
The unusual thing in this case is, the particular document that’s referenced online, to my understanding, is called a setback waiver, but that’s a misnomer. That is a fee that they pay for underground wiring with this gentleman. The number looks huge because instead of going over the usual 30 year period of time, this gentleman wanted the money up front. So the dollar number looks pretty staggering, but that really has nothing to do with the county’s interaction with Apex, and frankly, when they get into their leases and property dealings with local landowners, that’s really none of our business. So I didn’t feel that it needed to be in the application and, not really willing to apologize for that.”
Edgar County Watchdogs reports that the contract is worth at least $100,000.00 to the land owner, with payments of $85,577.95 for the set-back waiver, which includes $15,000 for a pre-construction payment, and $2.00 per linear foot of entrenchment containing underground facilities. Additional payments may be made for compaction of soil during construction, and damage to crops and livestock.
The fee schedule was originally on pages 2276 through 2278 of the application. Douglas said that he wanted to be transparent about the removal of the document for the short amount of time this week. The updated document can be found on the morgancounty-il.com website.