Last week at the DeWitt County Board meeting, an agenda item the Board was going to discuss was a request by Tradewind Energy for a substitute zoning administrator for the matter of the Alta Farms Wind Project.
The board removed that item from the agenda and county leaders say the issue has been resolved but Tuesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Project Development Manager for Tradewind, Tom Swierczewski says they do not believe it is resolved.
“We have not received formal communication. Our complaint, we feel, is still active and hasn’t been resolved. We simply want to get through this process as quickly as possible so we can start building this project and so DeWitt County can start benefiting from all the economic benefits these projects bring as well as the jobs. We see no reason for this process to take any longer than it needs to. It’s looking like it’s going to be at least 4 or 5 months, and that’s ridiculous.” said Tom Swierczewski.
Tradewind’s biggest contention is they submitted their application nearly three months ago and it has yet to make it to the Regional Planning Commission. Swierczewski feels this process has taken far too long.
“It’s been frustrating. Last Monday, Alta Farms II submitted a complaint against the zoning administrator Angie Sarver. It’s our feeling that she is attempting to stall the process or otherwise make sure the application proceeds through the process as slowly as possible. We submitted our application on August 15. The RPC was scheduled very shortly after our complaint was filed for November 19. That’s over 3 months. Typically, a special use permit application is reviewed an acted upon by the County Board in 3 months, not just going through to the first level.” said Tom Swierczewski.
The RPC will take up the Tradewind application in November but Tradewind is maintaining their request for a substitute zoning administrator. Swierczewski called out Land Use Committee Chair Terry Ferguson, for not having control of his staff and playing politics.
“We decided at the last minute not attend the County Board meeting because an RPC meeting date had been set, but we’re still asking for a substitute zoning administrator. We’re asking that after November 19 that the Zoning Board of Appeals dates be set so we can get through this process. We simply want to be treated like every other applicant. At this point, from our perspective, if the zoning administrator isn’t the problem at the county, perhaps it’s the Land Use Committee chairman Terry Ferguson. From our perspective, it seems like either Terry’s playing politics or he doesn’t have control of his staff, and neither one of those is good.” said Tom Swierczewski.
Last Friday morning on the WHOW morning show following the County Board meeting, DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg did not elaborate much on the situation but did indicate they felt they had the issue resolved before the meeting.
“First of all, for the Board to act on any item, it has to be on the agenda, as it was listed for discussion and possible action. If it’s not on the agenda that way, no action can be taken. Obviously, the agenda has to be posted 48 hours minimum prior to the meeting. We had some issues we didn’t think we resolved, I had them placed on the agenda this way. We got those issues resolved, so I wanted to make it very clear at the beginning of the meeting that I was pulling that from the agenda, because we did have a resolution.” said Dave Newberg