Wind: What property owners need to know

By:  Diane Benjamin

If you know anyone being approached by a Wind Farm company now – get this to them.  These companies will attempt to get landowners to sign contracts even before a wind farm is approved!  Make sure they DON’T sign without knowing the facts!  These companies are not above saying the neighbors have all signed, but don’t talk to them since we are offering you more.

Last week I wrote about Logan County rejecting a wind farm project and then changing their minds:

Board member Jan Schumacher was against the project, then changed her vote, moved to Missouri, and took a job in Green Energy technology.

Below is an email the entire Logan County Board received from an Illinois resident who was forced to move out of his house because of Wind Turbines.  The writer is President of Hartke Engineering and Surveying, Inc.

From: Ted Hartke [[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2015 5:17 PM
To: David Hepler; Robert Farmer; Rick Aylesworth; Kevin Bateman; David Blankenship; Emily Davenport; Patrick O’Neill; Gene Rohlfs; Charles Ruben; Scott Schaffenacker; Jan Schumacher
Subject: Fwd: Thank You note from Ted Hartke

Dear Logan County Board Members,

Thank you for your ongoing investigative work to protect citizens in Logan County.  Please make careful decisions as you continue to be bombarded with pressure to go along with a new proposed wind farm project.

My family was terribly impacted by turbines constructed too close to our home.  I wanted to personally assure you that the correct decision was made to reject ReLight’s construction application.  I have been made aware that there are 21 households here in Pilot Township (Vermilion County) who have various levels of noise issues within their homes, and numerous families have had one or more members with sleep disturbances.

My wife and I are the first ones who have been able to abandon our home where we were going through life-changing issues caused by InvEnergy’s wind turbines.  Please share our attached handout with other decision makers.  Also feel free to show it to those who may voice their displeasure with your vote to protect citizens.  This information is absolutely true, and please share it with this email with others as you see fit.

If you need any assistance to reject future wind projects in your community, please contact me so I may be able to share our experience with living among utility scale wind turbines.  I will be working on a project in Lincoln on Monday, March 9th or Wednesday, March 11th depending on weather conditions if any of you would want to meet me in person during the day.  My contact information is below in case any of your are interested.

From my family to yours, thank you for standing up for the right thing.  I don’t want to see anyone in your community to be forced to go through what we are experiencing.  Please look at the attached handout which I have shared far-and-wide as a warning to other communities and families who are mistakenly welcoming wind turbines like I did.

Sincerely yours,

Ted, Jessica, Phillip, and Sophia Hartke

Theodore P. Hartke, PE, PLS
Jessica L. Hartke, PhD
2121 E 2350 N. Rd
Fithian, IL  61844

Board member Jan Schumacher replied to his email:

On Sun, Mar 8, 2015 at 9:57 PM, Jan Schumacher <[email protected]> wrote:

Thank you for contacting us. I would be interested in meeting with you while you are in Lincoln. Do you know what your plans are yet?

Jan Schumacher
Logan County Board
P.O. Box 39
Lincoln, IL 62656
(cell) 217-737-8401
[email protected]

Schumacher and Hartke did meet.

She didn’t question his claims and appeared to be supportive.  He reports shock when she changed her vote to yes.


Two HUGE issues for all property owners:

  1.  How close they can build a turbine to your house or your neighbors:  The companies want to measure from your house.  Turbine manufacturers want 1600 feet clear in case of a fire. (Two in Livingston County did burn recently!).  Debris can be thrown even farther.  Measuring from your house is NOT acceptable because your land within 1600 feet becomes a danger zone – use it at your own risk.
  2.  The same applies for noise.  Don’t allow any Wind Farm company to measure from your house, only the property line (or a point you specify) protects your property rights.

The turbines being built now are MUCH bigger than the ones surrounding Bloomington-Normal.  The size creates even more problems with noise.

Citizens in Livingston County defeated the wind farm there.  They raised money themselves to hire experts.  See their website here for more information:




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