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WALNUT Farmer wants to build private airstrip

Wind farm developers concerned about nearness to turbines

PRINCETON — The Bureau County Board wants to make sure a Walnut farmer's request to build a private grass landing strip won't interfere with wind turbines planned for the area.

Marc Wilt asked the board Tuesday for a conditional-use permit to build the strip on land his family has owned since 1933.

If the permit is approved, he then must send a proposal to the Illinois Department of Transportation’ Division of Aeronautics, which would determine if it meets all state requirements and if any changes are needed.

The proposal also would be sent to the Federal Aviation Administration for an air space determination.

The whole process could take about 2 years, Wilt told the board.

Zoning Committee Chairman Marsha Lilley said developers of the proposed Walnut Ridge wind farm don't oppose the strip as long as it doesn't interfere with wind turbines planned in that area.

The request was sent back to the county Zoning Board of Appeals, which will hear additional testimony on the possible impact of the landing strip.

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