A fight against a wind farm that would supply electricity to 56,000 Indiana homes and businesses continues to heat up. Opponents said they have evidence that could get the Tipton County project stopped, and put some local leaders in hot water.
It is not just that Michelle McNabb did not want a wind farm in her part of Tipton County.
“There would be 10 to 12 turbines, 500-foot-tall turbines within a one-mile radius of my home,” said McNabb.
McNabb, and dozens of others living in the county, said decision-makers are pushing the project through, and lining their own pockets at the same time.
“We feel like we are being railroaded through this,” said resident Mark Lynn. “There is no opportunity for legitimate opposition to be able to derail this at this time. Effectively, all of the decisions have been made.”
McNabb, Lynn and others claim County Commissioner Mike Cline has already taken money from the wind company. They said that was why he was for it. They said Mark Baird, who sits on the Tipton County Plan Commission, is in on it too. According to opponents, their votes were bought and paid for.
“It is government against the small people,” said Lynn. “The residents who are not going to benefit from this are really on the short end of the stick.”
But Cline said the contract he signed was with the company AES. He said that project was canceled. Juwi is the wind energy company trying to break ground in Tipton County now.
“I do not have a contract with juwi now, or will I ever have,” said Cline. “I will never draw a dime out of juwi or any income from juwi.”
Cline said the group saying that they do not want the wind farm does not have all of the facts.
“People can say anything they want to say and they can also assume everything about your business and other people’s when they do not,” said Cline.
Lynn said they do. In fact, he said what Cline and Baird are doing is against the law, a conflict of interest, and a Class D felony.
“If he is benefiting directly from that, whether it is laying the groundwork for this company, or that company, or the company that comes after that, he established the practice that enabled all of this to occur,” said Lynn.
The group against the wind farm gave all of their findings to the Indiana State Police for them to investigate. The group’s last chance, the last stand to block the proposed wind farm, is on Feb. 25.