TIPTON – The Tipton County Commissioners have voted to waive the $20,600 fee for Chrysler Group LLC on a new improvement location permit for the Tipton transmission facility.
The commissioners voted unanimously Monday to waive the fee for the permit that was requested by Chrysler on Nov. 14 to complete the $108 million transmission facility at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Ind. 28.
Commissioner Joe VanBibber said the 850 jobs coming to the Chrysler plant amounts to $24 per position being created in voting to waive the fee.
Chrysler submitted the permit application after three Tipton County residents filed an appeal that is scheduled to be heard by the Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals in December.
The residents contended that Steve Edson, administrator of the county Planning Department, extended the improvement location permit originally approved for the Getrag Transmission plant in 2007.
During the BZA meeting, President Jerry Acres and John Brooke, the Tipton County attorney, said the appeal from residents Brent Snow and Nancy and Dan Carney would be a “moot” point if Chrysler applied for a new improvement location permit.
The appeal contends that the original improvement location permit approved for Getrag in 2007 had expired and Edson didn’t have the authority to approve an extension of that permit for a new entity.
After construction work started on the plant located on the northeast corner of U.S. 31 and Ind. 28, Getrag filed for bankruptcy and ownership of the facility was placed in a trust for contractors that had not been paid.
The building was sold by the trust to W.W. Reynolds, which was going to lease it to Abound Solar for the manufacturing of solar panels. No substantial work was done at the site for several years.
Chrysler purchased the facility in 2012 and announced this year that it was investing $1.2 billion at the Tipton location and facilities in Kokomo which would create 1,200 new jobs.
The Tipton and Kokomo facilities will be manufacturing eight- and nine-speed transmissions to improve fuel economy and performance in Chrysler vehicles.
In other business
The commissioners were informed of their options for the adoption of a new county wind farm ordinance that was recommended for approval by the Plan Commission.
The amended ordinance will change the setbacks to 1,500 feet from a property line, 2,640 feet from a residential dwelling and one mile from a city, town or county boundary.
The noise level will be set at 5 decibels over ambient levels, limit shadow flicker to a maximum of 30 minutes per day and 30 hours per year, and take steps to shield the flashing red lights on the top of each wind turbine.
The proposed ordinance also will create overlay districts for the placement of wind turbines, requiring the developers to submit a planned district which would have to be approved by county officials.
VanBibber said the commissioners will probably send the proposed ordinance back to the Plan Commission with proposed amendments.
He said one of the amendments will clarify the zoning overlay district for the existing Wildcat 1 wind farm operating in eastern Tipton County since the first of the year.
VanBibber said there will be amendments to the ordinance offered concerning procedures for the approval of future wind farm developments.
“There will be no changes in the setbacks for the placement of wind turbines,” he said.
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