I’m writing today in strong support of the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm. I was raised on a farm just outside Villa Grove, graduated from Villa Grove High School, and taught in the Shiloh School District. I moved away for years, and when I returned four years ago, I was saddened by the depressed state of, and lack of industry and small businesses in, this area.
There’s a lot of fearmongering happening by an extremely vocal minority, which is drowning out the great benefits this project will bring. Frankly, the wind farm is the only opportunity around here for a needed economic boost. The wind farm will contribute over $2 million in taxes in the first year and $50 million over the next 30 years. There are no industries coming to this area, and no one wants to move to an area that’s drying up. We’ll never progress if we continually refuse to evolve. We need revitalization and the wind farm is our chance.
Several school districts have consolidated because there’s not enough funding or attendance to sustain them. Teachers and programs are being lost because there’s no money to support them. The millions in tax dollars that will go to the schools will increase the quality of education and attract additional teachers and staff, which will attract people to the community. These people buy houses.
The Harvest Ridge Wind Farm will also spur job creation. Wind farms create hundreds of construction jobs that are filled by locals, which allows them to support their families and have health benefits. Some of this earned money is then circulated into the local community, supporting restaurants, gas stations, and retail.
The wind farm is the progress we need to bring vitality back into our communities! We simply can’t let this opportunity pass us by!