After taking two weeks to ponder their decision, the Brookston town council gave their sanction to allow a wind-energy project to expand its border Wednesday.
Martin N. Culik, a project manager with Horizon Wind Energy, began discussing the expansion of the local wind-turbine project during Brookston’s June 11 meeting.
Horizon, a Texas company that owns several United States wind farms, has been working with local leaders and property owners to develop the necessary laws and lease the required land to build a colony of wind turbines.
The electricity generated from the wind farm, to be built in West Point, Prairie, Round Grove, Big Creek and Honey Creek Townships, will feed into a larger power grid and continue a trend of “green” energy initiatives.
At the June 11 meeting, Culik and White County Economic Development Director Connie Neininger made the case to expand the wind farm’s boundary from two miles east of Route 43 to one mile east of Route 43.
The idea came after several landowners in that area came forward hoping to lease their land to the effort. Culik and Neininger explained, with the support of county commissioner Steve Burton, that a wind ordinance was close to completion that would require setbacks for turbines of 1,000 feet from existing residences.
Culik explained Wednesday that Horizon would go beyond that requirement.
“Our setback from existing homes is 1,500 feet,” he said. “We have, also, a setback from public roads of 1.5 times the height of the (turbine’s) tower.”
Once more reviewing a map of the affected area, council president Joseph Butz said of the project border of one mile from Route 43, “I don’t anticipate us going that far.”
Culik went on to say that lines carrying electricity between the turbines and into the collection substation would be underground.
“We’re actually not going to have above ground wires in phase one,” he explained.
“That substation will be very close to those (American Electric Power) lines,” added Neininger, pointing out the close proximity to existing electrical structures.
Culik’s plans showed that lines would be buried at least four feet deep, and that copies of maps detailing the locations of those lines would be provided to area landowners. He added that Horizon would supply Indiana 811, the area “call before you dig” system, with maps of the lines also.
After hearing all the information, the Brookston council was unanimous in their endorsement.
“I don’t have any problem with it,” said councilman Terry North.
“You have our blessing,” said Butz.
Culik thanked the council, “I appreciate you letting me come and discuss this with you.”
In other business, the council discussed an ongoing issue. A large pit in town had been pumped of water again, but was not yet filled in with dirt to eliminate the problem.
The pit was an eyesore and even becoming a nuisance to the Indiana Department of Transportation. It had been pumped of water once before, after the landowner and the town came to an agreement on a price of cost for electricity and wastewater system usage.
Town superintendent Max Eldridge explained that he told the landowner that if he paid the previously-agreed upon amount for wastewater usage and power, it could be pumped again. The landowner had done so; Eldridge agreed to call the landowner and give a deadline of Monday, June 30 to start filling the pit with dirt.
Town attorney George Loy also agreed to send a letter stating that no more water pumping would be allowed until an effort was made to fill the pit.
26 June 2008
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding