This conference is designed to discuss issues of importance regarding large wind farms to County Board and Zoning Board members.
7:30 AM – Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:00 AM – Wind Energy 101 Pre-session
(Pre-session for those new to wind farm projects)
9:00 AM – Welcome & Overview of County Wind Farm Activity
9:30 AM – Keynote Address
10:00 AM – Panel Discussion of Best Practices of County Boards and Zoning Boards
11:00 AM - Break - Exhibits and Networking
11:30 AM – Roads and School District Taxation
12:30 PM – Lunch and Exhibits
1:30 PM – County Ordinance Revisions
3:00 PM - Break - Exhibits and Networking
3:15 PM – Property Value Guarantees & Decommissioning Costs
4:00 PM – Adjourn
*Agenda and speakers subject to change
Kyle Barry is an attorney with McGuireWoods LLP and a vice president in the State Government Relations group of McGuireWoods Consulting. An experienced commercial litigator and former deputy general counsel for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, he has established relationships with leading federal, state and local officials in Illinois. Kyle has an extensive background in business expansion services and economic development. While serving as deputy general counsel for the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Development, Kyle managed the legal affairs for the Large Business Development Division, the Energy and Recycling Division, the Office of Coal Development, the DCEO Grants Unit and the Illinois Trade Office. Kyle has provided guidance on general business development projects as well as on energy projects, including wind energy developments, ethanol plants, coal projects and a geothermal energy enterprise. In addition, Kyle recently helped form a trade association for wind energy developers in Illinois, and he now helps manage the government affairs for the association.
Matt Boss has been Development Manager for Mainstream Renewable Power’s Midwest business since October 2009. In this role he leads development of Mainstream’s project portfolio in the Midwest, including 787MW of wind projects in Illinois. Mainstream’s first project in Illinois, the Shady Oaks project in Lee County, will move into construction in 2011 following a recent successful bid in the IPA power procurement process with partner Goldwind USA. Matt joined Mainstream in 2008 from BP, where his most recent role was Business Development Manager for the wind business in Europe and North Africa. Aside from the United States, Matt has worked on wind project development in markets as diverse as India, the Netherlands, Egypt, Turkey, and the UK. He holds a Joint Honours Bachelors degree from Leeds University, England.
Philip Dick, AICP, has been the Director of the McLean County Department of Building and Zoning since August 2001. Prior to that, he was the McLean County Planner since February of 1993. Prior to that, he had been a planner for Palm Beach County, Florida since January of 1989. Phil is the Director of the Illinois State Section of the American Planning Association. He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) since 1994. He holds a B.S. in Economics from Illinois State University and has completed graduate course work in Geography, Economic Development and Planning at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
Dr. Larry K. Dodds has served as superintendent for the past seven years of Ridgeview Community Unit School District No. 19 in Colfax, IL, a district of approximately 600 students covering 193 square miles in the northeastern portion of McLean County. Ridgeview contains 161 of the 240 wind turbines that comprise the 400-megawatt Twin Groves Wind Farm, the first wind farm to be built in McLean County and was completed in 2007. Two other wind farm projects, Black Prairie Wind Farm and Bright Stalk Wind Farm, have been approved for construction, with a significant portion of each one being within the Ridgeview boundaries. Ridgeview CUSD #19 has benefited significantly from the property tax generated from the Twin Groves Wind Farm beginning with FY 2009, with new property tax revenue of nearly $4,000,000 through FY 2011. Dr. Dodds has developed a strong familiarity with the various components of the state law regulating the determination of the property tax on wind turbines statewide. He has developed a basic understanding of how the value of a wind turbine is computed, depreciated, the amount of new revenue to be generated and the need for creating a positive working relationship with the county supervisor of assessments. In addition, he has developed an awareness of the impact of new revenue on the amount of General State Aid (GSA) a school district will receive as the Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) increases with the addition of a wind farm. He is considered a reliable resource for school superintendents and others whose communities may be impacted by the addition of a wind farm that eventually will generate new property tax revenues not only for the school district but for townships, library district, fire and ambulance entities, villages, counties and others as well as the effect it will have on GSA for the school district. Dr. Dodds possesses a Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Missouri in Columbia and a MS in Educational Administration and BS in Mathematics from Illinois State University in Normal.
Dwight Farber joined Horizon Wind Energy in March, 2007 as a Project Manager. His responsibilities include the management of the development activities for assigned Illinois wind projects. He has successfully developed 300 megawatts of operating wind projects as part of the Top Crop Wind Farm located in Grundy and LaSalle counties. He is currently leading the development of the Broadlands Wind Farm located in Champaign, Douglas, Edgar and Vermillion counties and the Top Crop Wind Farm located in Livingston County. Prior to Horizon Wind Energy, Dwight worked for the GROWMARK system with positions in sales, marketing and management. His most recent role with GROWMARK was as the Director of Marketing and Business Development for the GROWMARK Energy Division. Dwight graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy.
George Gordon is Professor Emeritus of Politics and Government at Illinois State University, and also has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Illinois Wesleyan University. His specialties include government administration, urban/metropolitan politics, and American federalism. He earned his B.A. degree from Penn State University, his M.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Ph.D. degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is the co-author of Public Administration in America, 11th edition (forthcoming, 2012). He also has published articles in Public Administration Quarterly, Journal of the American Planning Association, and Publius: The Journal of Federalism, as well as in several books of collected readings. George has served on the McLean County Board for 14 years, and currently chairs the Land Use and Development Committee.
Jim Griffin is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Schain, Burney, Banks & Kenny, Ltd. Jim and his firm have counseled clients regarding several wind energy projects, representing both wind energy companies and local government. Jim has advised wind energy clients on siting and land use matters, environmental issues, state and local taxation, leases and easements, and contract negotiations. He has also served as lead counsel in two lawsuits challenging wind energy projects. Jim is a member of the American Wind Energy Association and served as a presenter at AWEA’s 2009 national conference in Chicago, and at AWEA’s 2008 national conference in Houston. He serves on the executive committee of the Illinois Wind Working Group, and has lectured on wind farm siting, project opposition, taxation, and other topics. In addition to his wind energy experience, Jim represents clients in other land use, environmental, litigation and business matters. He obtained his law degree cum laude from John Marshall Law School after earning a degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.
Chris Howell is a Senior Environmental Engineer at Burns & McDonnell. Chris specializes in sound-related studies for many different types of industries, and power generation in particular. He helps his clients conduct feasibility and siting studies, ambient and operational sound monitoring, predictive modeling, and assists with regulatory compliance. Chris has assisted several wind energy developers site and permit/license large wind farms. Chris regularly provides public testimony related to impact assessments for large projects. Chris received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Kansas State University.
David Loomis, Ph.D. is Professor of Economics at Illinois State University where he teaches in the Master’s Degree program in electricity, natural gas and telecommunications economics. Dr. Loomis is Director of the Center for Renewable Energy and Executive Director of the Institute for Regulatory Policy Studies. As part of his duties, he leads the Illinois Wind Working Group under the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Loomis is part of a team of faculty that has designed a new undergraduate curriculum in renewable energy at Illinois State University. Dr. Loomis earned his Ph.D. in economics at Temple University. Prior to joining the faculty at Illinois State University, Dr. Loomis worked at Bell Atlantic (Verizon) for 11 years. He has published articles in the Energy Policy, Electricity Journal, Review of Industrial Organization, Utilities Policy, Information Economics and Policy, International Journal of Forecasting, International Journal of Business Research, Business Economics and theJournal of Economics Education.
Jim Mathes is a Principal Consultant for the Illinois State Board of Education. He is a University of Iowa graduate with a BBA-Finance. Jim has held many accounting/auditing positions with various private and governmental entities prior to employment with the state of Illinois in 1984. Volunteered as Treasurer and board member for the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial dedicated May 7, 1988 in Springfield, IL. Employment with the state of Illinois included hospital audits of Medicaid patients served within Illinois and bordering states, Special Education reimbursement rate setting that Illinois public schools must pay private providers for students attending their facilities, and General State Aid calculations (GSA) (started 7- 01-95). GSA duties embrace a broad variety of functions from collecting input variables, applying these variables to the GSA formula including the numerous adjustment variables and the coordination, explanation, and analysis for internal and external individuals such as school district leadership.
Paul Miller is the Director of Planning, Zoning and Building for DeKalb County, Illinois. In this capacity, he oversees all planning, zoning, subdivision and construction activity in unincorporated DeKalb County. As Director of the DeKalb County Regional Planning Commission, he coordinates meetings and work projects for the County and its 14 municipalities. Prior to starting with DeKalb County in 1996, he was the Village Planner for Glen Ellyn, Illinois for five years. He provided planning services to the Village of Bloomingdale, IL for two years while with a planning consultant firm out of Wheaton, IL, and before that was a planner with an urbanizing county south of Cincinnati, Ohio. Paul received his Masters degree in Planning from the University of Wyoming in 1988 following a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Geography from the University of Central Arkansas. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the American Planning Association, and the Illinois Association of County Zoning Officials.
Jeffrey Nemeth is a graduate of Western Illinois University with an undergraduate degree in Recreation Management and a Master of Business Administration degree. He has been actively involved in the wind industry since 2007, when he began working as a graduate assistant at WIU. During his time there, he provided educational and technical assistance to numerous communities, school boards, and individuals who were interested in learning more about wind energy. There, he oversaw the state-wide wind monitoring program, assisted in the creation of the Illinois Wind Maps and Wind Site Selection Tool. He has contributed or co-authored multiple publications, poster-presented at AWEA and has spoken at numerous state-wide conferences on wind energy. Jeffrey is currently a Project Manager for Horizon Wind Energy and is working on the development of new wind farms in the Great Lakes Region.
Neil Palmer founded Neil Palmer & Associates in 1994 to provide specialized services to clients with projects requiring local, state or federal permitting. These often controversial and complex projects, benefit from the development of public affairs efforts which include strong local community involvement and communications programs. Before launching his consulting practice, Neil Palmer spent 21 years with Wisconsin Electric Power Company (now We Energies), a nationally respected utility that serves 1 million electric and natural gas customers in Wisconsin and Michigan. Active in local affairs, Neil served seven terms as a trustee of the Village of Elm Grove, Wisconsin, before being elected Village President in 2005. In addition to serving as Village President he also is Chairman of the Planning Commission on which he has served for ten years. Neil represents Elm Grove on the Waukesha Cooperation Council where he served as Chairman in 2008-09. He is also a member of the Executive Steering Council of the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust. Neil holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin, and is a graduate of the Public Affairs Institute.
Mark Pierson is Vice-Chairman of the Bureau County Board of Supervisors. With over three major wind farm projects in place or developemnt in Bureau County, he has been actively involved with zoning, construction and decommissioning contracts between local government and energy companies. Also as a two-term Chairman of the County Insurance Committee, he has been involved with risk management and potential liability exposure to local government. As a thirty year small business owner, Mark has been active in legislative issues on the State and Federal level in addition to experience with the EPA and hazardous waste issues.
Peter J. Poletti is the President of Poletti and Associates, Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm located in Collinsville, Illinois. Dr. Poletti graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelors Degree in Forest Management; from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville with a Master of Arts Degree in Geography; and from St. Louis University with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in American Studies. Besides his academic degrees, Dr. Poletti also holds the MAI designation of the Appraisal Institute; the Certified Assessment Evaluator designation of the International Association of Assessing Officers; and the Certified Illinois Assessing Officer designation of the State of Illinois. He is licensed as a general appraiser in the states of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Dr. Poletti has been the elected township assessor for the Township of Collinsville since 1977. Since 1987, the firm of Poletti and Associates, Inc. has been involved in issues concerning land uses and their impact on surrounding properties. During this time, the firm has conducted over thirty-five studies on this issue, among which include wind farms, sanitary landfills, trash transfer stations, yard waste operations, and a waste wood to power conversion facility. Besides the issue of land use impact on property values, the firm had generally specialized in eminent domain issues, and atypical industrial uses such as quarries, railroad corridors, and river frontage land.
Karen Tyrell, Ph.D., is a Senior Vice President of BHE Environmental. Dr. Tyrell’s work centers on integrating land-use planning and predictive impact analyses to evaluate and resolve environmental conflicts in a way that is ultimately compatible with project goals. Dr. Tyrell specializes in wildlife impact analyses and regulatory permit compliance, and has provided a wide range of environmental support studies for the development of wind energy facilities throughout the US. Dr. Tyrell received her doctorate from the University of Illinois, subsequently served on the faculty of two major universities, and has developed impact assessment and environmental compliance training courses for a number of federal and state environmental programs. Dr. Tyrell has served on the US Fish and Wildlife Service Indiana Bat Recovery Team, and is currently active on a number of technical advisory committees addressing environmental effects of utility-grade wind power facilities.
Jolene Willis is Wind Energy Program Assistant for the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University. As part of its mission to serve as the state's academic clearinghouse on rural development data and initiatives, IIRA provides technical assistance to communities on wind power and other forms of renewable energy. Willis has been closely involved in advancing several community- and utility-scale wind farm projects, and has comprehensive experience in professional economic development organizations and non-profit organizational management and programming. Willis was previously the economic development coordinator for University of Illinois Extension H-M-W Unit and served as Executive Director of the Western Illinois Economic Development Partnership, the economic development entity for Warren County. She is a certified Business Retention and Expansion Consultant and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. IIRA's wind energy information resources can be found online at IllinoisWind.org.
David Winters, PE, is a 1975 graduate of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Syracuse University. He began working for the Livingston County Highway Department in 1976 after a brief tenure with the USDA Soil Conservation Service. He was appointed County Engineer in 1995. As County Engineer he is responsible for the construction and maintenance of 257 miles of county highways and 71 bridges over twenty feet clear span. His office provides engineering and Motor Fuel Tax program oversight to 30 road districts with 1612 miles of highways and 383 bridges. David has twice been a speaker on local agency bridge inspection at the annual Transportation and Highway Engineering Conference at the University of Illinois and has presented historic bridge reconstruction experiences to the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois. David has served as Illinois Association of County Engineers (IACE) District 3 Director, Policy Committee Secretary and Chairman and was honored as the IACE 2010 Zone 1 Engineer of the Year. He also has served on IACE Liaison, Revenue, Traffic and Safety, and Legislative committees. Other professional memberships include the National Association of County Engineers, Illinois Society of Professional Engineers and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. David lives in Pontiac with his wife Carol, a retired teacher. They have two grown children: Aaron of Washington D.C. and Karin of Chicago.
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