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Aldermen to tilt at windmills again tonight

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Evanston aldermen are scheduled again tonight to decide whether the city should continue planning for an offshore windfarm in Lake Michigan.

The aldermen last month postponed action on a report from the city's windfarm committee. The committee wants to continue research on the windfarm concept. But a number of community residents, including two dissident members of the committee, urged that the entire concept be dropped.

The opponents argue that an offshore windfarm would be too expensive and that it would have a variety of adverse environmental impacts.

The committee's report recommends that the city, among other things, should:

  • Seek to have a resident appointed to a proposed state advisory council on offshore wind energy.
  • "Foster transparent discussion" of windfarm issues.
  • Encourage establishment of a meteorological station in the lake to gather windspeed data.
  • Look into grants and tax benefits that could encourage development and options for creating revenue for the city from the project.

And it calls for formation of a new committee to continue the research work.

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