Tipton — The development of a proposed wind farm in eastern Tipton County took a step forward Monday with the approval of two agreements between the county commissioners and E-On Climate and Renewables.
The company sent Tipton County a $65,000 check Friday to cover the county’s expenses for professional services and agreed to pay $1.2 million over four years as part of an economic development agreement.
Andy Melka, project manager for E-On, said construction on the project will start in October or November and could be completed by the summer of 2012.
The company has also applied for a 10-year tax abatement on its proposed investment of $175 million.
The Tipton County Council will consider the tax abatement request for the first of two required votes May 31. Final approval could take place June 21.
When asked by Commissioner Jane Harper how much the abatement is worth, Melka said the company will pay $3.4 million in taxes during the tax abatement period and save $3.5 million.
Melka said the company has agreed to pay Tipton County $1.2 million to cover the lost opportunity of commercial developments in the area of the wind farm. He said the payments will be made in four annual payments of $300,000, starting with the pouring of the foundation for the first turbine tower.
According to the agreement, the funds are to be placed in a separate account to be used for construction, repair or maintenance of infrastructure, improvement of park systems and economic development projects.
“The $1.2 million is to make sure the county benefits from the project,” Melka said.
E-On will provide the county with a letter of credit from a bank for upgrades to county roads during the construction phase.
“E-On will upgrade each road it will use,” attorney Rick Hall, representing Tipton County, said. “After construction the roads will be repaired to at least the original condition.”
The Wildcat Wind Farm development will take place in Wildcat and Madison townships of Tipton County from the Howard County line to Ind. 28.