County board chairman sets rules for April 25 meeting


CLINTON — At the end of Thursday’s DeWitt County Board meeting, board chairman David Newberg outlined the procedure for the April 25 special wind farm vote session.

“I think everything is pretty clear with the possible exception of public input, Newberg said. 

The standing board policy allows 30 minutes total for public comment, five minutes per individual speaker.

As chairman, Newberg can modify those rules.

“On that evening (April 25), we will allow 30 minutes for those wishing to speak in opposition, five minutes per person.  We will allow 30 minutes for those in favor with a maximum of five minutes per person,” Newberg said.

If each person used his entire allotted time, this would allow for six people to speak against and six in favor.

“There is the possibility that all those wishing to speak may not have the chance.”

Ultimately, the opportunity for people to address the board during the meeting is primarily a courtesy.  The board is prohibited from considering any comments that were not given in testimony before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), something Newberg has pointed out during other meetings.

“All the board members have received and have had for some time that testimony and that evidence,” Newberg said.

Anyone who would like to speak before the board during the April 25 meeting should contact the office of the county clerk during business hours at (217) 935-2119.

Board discussion will take place once public comment is completed.  Newberg said if the board feels further discussion is necessary before a vote, the meeting will be adjourned and reconvened at a later date.

“It will be the board’s decision to decide if the three hours allotted for this meeting is enough,” Newberg said. 

A series of board meetings, meetings of the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and ZBA hearings have been ongoing since challenge to the Alta Farms wind energy project began in the summer of 2017.  The history of the project goes back to 2008.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. on Thursday in the auditorium of Clinton High School.