Proposed ordinance has been written for alternative energy farms

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POSEY COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – We have an update on a proposed wind farm in Posey County. The county’s area planning commission has drafted an ordinance when it comes to wind and solar equipment.

After months of meeting and listening to concern, the planning commission is working to get ahead of the growing world that is alternative energy.

“Over the course of the last several months, many people have spoken at the area planning commission meetings,” Beth McFadin Higgins says.

Officials say they’ve done their best to make sure it is fair for both parties.

“To cover and be comprehensive but to be open for both sides so I would say it’s a very neutral ordinance,” McFadin Higgins explains.

But some in Posey County, think it misses the mark in some areas.

“Property value is one factor but with the ordinance, we feel like the #1 concern with protections is the protection of the dopier radar. That radar being located in Gibson County but affecting posey county directly,” Scott Fisher says.

Some of the provision in the ordinance says the turbines need to be two-and-a-half times away from a property line as the windmill is tall, also putting limits on the amount of noise and shadows the turbine would make.
But the people who oppose the farms say this was a good start but they are working to make more improvements.

“Educate the community and educate the public on what the complex ordinance means,” Fisher says.

And making sure their concerns are heard.

“We will certainly be voicing our opinion that is backed up with scientific data that supports our position,” Fisher explains.

But the commission wants everyone to know this doesn’t mean the wind farm will be coming.

“We’re not putting a stamp of approval on any project. We are drafting an ordinance that anyone interested in starting a wind or solar project in Posey County because we only govern posey county, would go through a process.

E-ON, the company planning to build the windfarm issued this statement:

Although we see the drafting of this ordinance as a positive first step in a continued dialogue with the county and community, there is language within the current draft ordinance that is overly restrictive and, if it is adopted as is, only a small fraction of the project we had planned to build here would likely be buildable, if at all. We are still running internal modeling, but our initial view is that the draft ordinance might make it potentially impossible to build a project in Posey County. The result of this would be that the revenue that could have gone to the hundreds of landowners from Posey County who signed up to participate in the project and to schools, roads, and Posey County itself will likely move next door to Gibson County. We look forward to working with the Area Planning Commission to amend this ordinance and hopefully come to a final agreement that will allow all in Posey County to benefit from wind energy.

Karsen Rumpf

You can read the ordinance here.

A public hearing meeting is scheduled for November 20th at 6 pm at the Posey County 4-H Center.

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