On the same day Henry County sent a caravan about 130 miles to investigate a wind farm, the county’s aviation board once again found itself discussing wind energy on Monday.
The New Castle-Henry County Board of Aviation Commissioners voted to give all investigation duties into the wind farm and the airport to the Henry County Council and the county commissioners.
Many of the people who traveled to White County to visit its wind farm on Monday also stopped by the aviation board meeting.
New Castle’s airport has been called a major obstacle to one company’s plan to install a wind farm in southern Henry County. Because of height restrictions from the airport, the company, Nordex, may be able to put only 10 to 15 turbines in southern Henry County. However, if changes were made to the airport’s flight pattern, the company has said it would put 15 to 20 more turbines here.
Although the aviation board had been hesitant to lobby the Federal Aviation Administration to change the flight patterns, Henry County Council members Richard Bouslog and Nate LaMar and Commissioner Bill Cronk reported on Monday that the positives a wind farm could bring to the county could be major.
A wind farm could mean more tax revenue for government and more funds for property owners here.
However, aviation board members said they were concerned about safety problems that could be caused by changing the flight patterns and about the changing numbers that Nordex has been providing the county.
“Our experience with Nordex has been one of duplicity,” said Joe McDonald, a member of the aviation board.
After about 30 minutes of discussion, the aviation board voted to give all investigation duties involving the southern Henry County wind farm and the airport to the council and the commissioners.
Both the county officials and the aviation board agreed that a more unified approach across the county for wind farm development would be a positive.
Brad Crowe, a member of the aviation board, said the board is still going to push with its current plan to extend the airport runway. It’s a project that’s been in the works for years.
“We’re going to move forward. We’re not going to sit still,” Crowe said. “That would be ridiculous.”
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