Support Second Phase of Wind Farm Development

Target: Howard County Commissioner Brad Bray

Goal: To provide support for the second phase of the Wildcat Wind Farm development.

The Wildcat Wind Farm project was originally intended to be a two phase process involving both Howard and Grant counties in Indiana. While the first phase has already gone into effect, and been a success, there is still opposition regarding the proposed Wildcat Wind Farm II project that would culminate the process. This project involves a comparatively mild $400 million early investment in exchange for a dramatic tax base increase to both counties while additional millions in tax offsets will aid the region for at least the next 25 years.

The good to be gleaned from this project does not start and end with tax benefits, however. The construction jobs generated by the project will provide an immediate infusion of gainful employment (phase one resulted in over $19 million in employee wages) along with the additional revenue made available for local service, materials, and manufacturing industries. These will all have with them an inherent stream of ongoing required services throughout the lifespan of the project. Given how hard Howard and surrounding counties such as Tipton have been hit by the declining auto industry it makes tremendous sense to inject productive job opportunities into these communities.

The beneficial revenue generated by this second-stage project will also help declining tax revenues to recover. At present the Eastern Howard School Corporation has been forced to run at a tremendous annual deficit. This project will inject an estimated five to eight million in tax revenue directly to local school districts over the next 15 years. This would more than offset the current deficits being incurred. The benefits far outweigh the initial start-up costs and because of this the Wildcat Wind Farm II project must take place.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Commissioner Bray,

The Wildcat Wind Farm project was always planned to be a two-phase process which would involve projects in both Howard and Grant counties. The first phase has already gone into effect and the results provide solid  justification for the second stage to begin, despite concerns being presented to the contrary. This project will require a comparatively mild $400 million investment; however this will be easily recovered by virtue of the positive impact upon the region. This project will provide a strong tax base increase to both counties in addition to several million in tax offsets that will support the region for the next three decades.

The regional benefits extend far beyond tax revenue alone, however. Counties such as Howard and nearby Tipton have suffered a noticeable economic downturn in the wake of a declining automotive industry. Productive job opportunities will allow for a fiscal turnaround in markets such as construction, service, materials, and manufacturing industries. The first phase of this project resulted in over $19 million in employee wages; another similar amount would give tremendous economic relief to the area. While much of this will be in the form of a immediate economic jolt during the primary construction phases of the project, ongoing support will be an economic aid for the lifetime of the wind farm.

For a region suffering from declining tax revenues and operating deficits the beneficial revenue could be just what these counties need. Local school districts alone will reap an estimated five to eight million in tax revenue over the next 15 years, easily enough to pull them from the current annual deficits. These are but a small sampling of the reasons why it behooves Howard County to go forward with the Wildcat Wind Farm II project.

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Indianapublicmedia.org

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One Comment

  1. Coal, oil, gas, and fission fuels are limitted; wind is effectively forever and sun is every day. We should move to use of long term solutions to limitted resources and wind is one of the easiest to harness.

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