Pratt, Kan. – Paul S. McCausland, of Young, Bogle, McCausland, Wells & Blanchard, P.A., representing Indek Wildcat Wind, LLC (“Indek”) sent a letter to Pratt County Board of Commissioners, dated Nov. 2, 2011. The letter urged commissioners to withdraw the moratorium on wind farm generators in the county or, at a minimum, to suspend its effect on properties included in the Wildcat Wind Farm Project.
McCausland said the Pratt County commissioners had entered into two agreements with Indek: (1) a licensing agreement dated Feb. 7, 2011 for the development, construction, operation and maintenance of the project; and (2) a road use and maintenance agreement dated May 2, 2011.
“At the time the Board and Indek executed the above agreements, the county did not have a comprehensive plan or zoning requirements with respect to land use, including the development of commercial wind energy farms,” wrote McCausland. “Indek, on its own initiative, came to the Board and offered to enter into an agreement that granted the Board effective exercise of its Home Rule powers with decommissioning of the project.”
On Sept. 12,2011, at the urging of a few disaffected landowners, the Board unanimously adopted Resolution #09-12-11B imposing a moratorium on the development of wind farms in the county.
“Indek considers this action by the Board to be a violation of the Board’s powers, a breach of the agreements between the Board and Indek, and a deprivation of the rights secured to Indek under federal law,” wrote McCausland. “In reliance on the agreements and in good faith, Indek has spent in excess of $1,000,000 on the development of the project. Indek cannot ignore the illegal actions of the Board.”
The letter went on to cite several cases to substantiate Indek’s position on the illegality of the actions taken by the county commission. McCausland stated the Board is forcing Indek to consider appropriate legal action to enforce and preserve its rights under the contract, the United States Constitution and the laws of the United States. Unless the moratorium is lifted and the Board allows Indek to move forward as agreed, Indek is placed in the unenviable position of having to seek judicial relief to enforce the agreements and its rights, according to McCausland.
In closing McCausland said the project has the support of many of the citizens of Pratt County. Forty-five (45) landowners who have entered into land lease agreements with Indek for the erection of wind turbines on their property, support the project. The project will inject millions of dollars into the local economy and is supported by the business leaders.
Similar agreements for commercial wind energy projects are being used for projects in operation and under development and construction in neighboring counties of Barber, Harper and Kingman, according to McCausland.
“Indek would much prefer to invest its resources in the development and construction of wind turbines and towers and not spend its time and money on legal issues,” wrote McCausland.