BOONVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The Warrick County Council met on April 7 with most of the meeting centered around the solar farm known as Rustic Hills I and II.
The council voted four to three to pass Rustic Hills resolutions I and II for tax phase-ins. All members were present for the vote.
Proponents and opponents of the solar farm and resolutions stated their cases before the vote occurred.
Proponents said the solar farm would give Warrick County’s economy an annual increase of size. The benefits include electricity production, future economic development, attracts 21st century jobs and no pollution. The private property owner was also choosing to lease or sale the property.
Opponents had main concerns that centered on giving up productive agricultural land when there are acres of land already mined and ordinances to look at reclaimed grounds. They also grieved that the tax dollars of the residents of Warrick County should not be used to energize the project and the $300 million investment solar panels were being bought elsewhere and not in Warrick County.
Rustic Hills 1 and 2 is a 1600 acre solar farm that would be built off of Highway 61 near the Sharon Road intersection.
It’s a $250 million investment that would have a lifespan of 35 years and would be placed on leased farmland. After the lease is up, the owners could convert it back to farmland if they wish.
Rustic Hills is also projected to pump $25 million in property taxes into Warrick County over those 35 years, which in turn Councilman Richmond says could lower payments for residents in the future. The company creating the plan is asking for a tax phase-in over the next 8 to 10 years, with an approximate 10% added each year.