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Central Indiana county not blocking wind farm plans

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Officials in a central Indiana county have decided they won't take immediate action to block a proposed wind farm.

Delaware County commissioners decided Monday that it would be premature to impose a moratorium on wind turbines since the county plan commission hasn't acted on a proposed zoning change to allow the project on 15,000 acres northeast of Muncie, The Star Press reported.

E.ON Climate and Renewables of Chicago is seeking permission to build the electricity-generating turbines in current agricultural areas. The plan commission last week delayed taking action on that request until its June 6 meeting.

James Rybarczyk, who lives near the proposed wind farm site, asked county commissioners to adopt an ordinance that would prevent the turbines from being built.

Rybarczyk said the project was "accelerating so rapidly."

But Larry Bledsoe, president of the Board of Commissioners, said the next action should come from the plan commission.

"I believe in that process," Bledsoe said. "To do a moratorium now would be premature."

The company is looking to build about 30 turbines standing perhaps 500 feet tall in Delaware County, according to commissioners.

E.ON Climate and Renewables is building the Wildcat Wind Farm in counties neighboring to the west.

Construction finished late last year on 125 turbines are in eastern Tipton County and northern Madison County, in the area about 40 miles north of Indianapolis. Nearly 200 more turbines are planned in neighboring Howard and Grant counties in later phases.

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  1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

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