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Greentown resident voices wind farm concerns; County to consider tax abatement for project  

Credit:  By KEN de la BASTIDE, Tribune enterprise editor | Kokomo Tribune | kokomotribune.com 22 June 2012 ~~

Greentown resident Joe Anderson asked the commissioners to review the county’s wind farm ordinance voicing concerns about the set-back provisions.

Anderson said he contacted the commissioners three years ago when the wind monitoring tower was erected across from his property.

He said the wind farm will not create jobs but would eliminate jobs in the housing industry.

“Most people won’t buy land in a wind farm area,” Anderson said. “There will be fewer new houses constructed and people might move out of the county.”

He said residents in the area are uncertain of what actions to take in terms of leasing ground for the wind farm project.

The wind farm ordinance passed by Howard County requires a 500 foot set-back from residential properties plus 1.1 times the height of the wind turbine and 1,500 set-back from incorporated areas.

Anderson said the electricity generated will not be used in Howard County, but would most likely be shipped to the East Coast.

E-on Climate Renewables has requested a 10-year tax abatement for the construction of two phases of the Wild Cat Wind Farm project in Howard, Tipton, Grant and Madison counties.

Commissioner Tyler Moore said there have been a number of studies done over the past three years and information is being exchanged with the Howard County Plan Commission.

The project spanning four counties will be completed in three phases, said Andy Melka, project manager.

• Phase 1 is development in Madison and Tipton counties

• Phase 2 is development in southeast Howard County and will include up to 15 wind turbines. It also includes additional development in Tipton County.

• Phase 3 is development between Greentown and Converse in Jackson and Union townships. It will include up to 80 turbines. This phase will also include development in Grant County.

Melka said if the federal government extends tax credits for wind energy, construction could start in the spring of 2013.

The company has purchased leases signed by property owners in Howard County from another wind energy company covering between 2,500 and 3,500 acres of land, he said.

Melka said the company could be investing up to $300 million in Howard County.

Source:  By KEN de la BASTIDE, Tribune enterprise editor | Kokomo Tribune | kokomotribune.com 22 June 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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