CASS COUNTY – As members of the Adair County Supervisor consider a more comprehensive ordinance on wind turbines, the ordinance in Cass County focuses solely on assessment.
There are a total of 188 wind turbines in Cass County, and two wind farms projects that are included in part of Cass County. One is the Adair Wind Farm project, which is in the northwest corner of Cass County, and the other is the Rolling Hills Wind Farm project, which is southeast corner of Cass County.
The Adair Wind Farm project is part of both Adair and Cass Counties, and generates 174.8 megawatts. The Rolling Hills Wind Farm project is in Adair, Cass and Adams counties and generates 443.9 megawatts. The last time a set of wind turbines were built in Cass County was in 2011, and prior to that was 2009.
Cass County’s ordinance was passed in November of 2007, and explained how the wind turbine property was assessed from year to year.
“Wind Energy conversion property, first assessed on or after the effective date of the ordinance, shall be valued by the county assessor for property tax purposes as follows: Assessment Year 1 = 0 percent of net acquisition cost; Assessment Year 2 = 5 percent of net acquisition cost; Assessment Year 3 = 10 percent of net acquisition cost; Assessment Year 4 = 15 percent of net acquisition cost; Assessment Year 5 = 20 percent of net acquisition cost; Assessment Year 6 = 25 percent of net acquisition cost; Assessment Year 7 = 30 percent of net acquisition cost and Assessment Years after the 7th year = 30 percent of net acquisition cost.”
Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman said previously the county collected $3,278,768 in property taxes from the turbines.
Supervisor Frank Waters, who is currently a board member and was on the board when the ordinance was passed, said when the turbines were being built in the county, he received a few complaints about them, whether it had to do with noise, lights or where they were located.
“There were a few people that didn’t (like the turbines), but very few,” he said.
However, he also noted, “nobody knew what they were like,” since they had just started being built in Cass County at the time.
Whether or not there will be more turbines in Cass County is unknown, but Waters expected there would be opposition like before, but he said, it’s the supervisor’s job to consider all sides.
“There’s always going to be a few (people opposed),” Waters said. “But it’s good for the county. It’s good for the tax lines. (In the end) We have to look at the whole picture.”