Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 16, 2012

Letters to the editor - Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012

Abatement will serve all

Our Prairie Township farm has been in our family since 1849, making it one of the oldest in Tipton County. We are proud of our family’s heritage and the contributions that our farm and all farms have made in Tipton County and Prairie Township to our prosperity and way of life.

But farms and the needs of the residents of Tipton County are not static. Farms, energy, education and employment change as our economy and environmental needs change. Farmers and all people need to have the opportunity to change and to maintain their quality of life. Everyone should have access to education, good jobs, health care services and a safe environment.

The Prairie Breeze Wind Farm, like the Wildcat Wind Farm in eastern Tipton County, will generate income that will benefit everyone in Prairie Township, the Tri-Central Schools and all Tipton County residents.

The wind farm benefits will also include the better roads the wind farm companies will be required to build, the funding they must provide for local government, and limited but real local property tax relief. We also like the idea that in the future Tipton County will be a source of non-polluting green power.   

The Tipton County landscape has always endured change. If the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm is built, we will prosper from the positive new changes that will occur. That has been the history of wind farms in Indiana and other Midwestern states.

We are hopeful the Tipton County Council will heed the wishes of the residents and landowners of Prairie Township and approve the tax abatement for the wind farm. The abatement has been wisely designed to serve the best interests of everyone in Tipton County and deserves a yes vote.    

John Cardwell and Nancy Griffin, Sharpsville

Funds from wind farm needed

I love where I live, and my family roots are deep.

I was born in Prairie Township, Tipton, Ind. I share the sixth generational branch of the family tree to live on our farm. My grandchildren are eighth generation. Not mine alone, but this is my home.

The roads covering the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm are exactly the roads I’ve driven all my life. More importantly, they’re the roads my kids and grandkids will continue to drive long after I’m gone. I want them improved and maintained beyond past and present reality. They are not mine alone, but these are my roads. They desperately need the funding the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm will provide.

The Tri-Central Schools put my educational foundation beneath me, as well as my kids. My grandkids have already suffered the pinch of limited school funding, while their grandparents pay more taxes than ever. It’s not mine alone, but it is my school system. It desperately needs the funding the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm will provide.

I’m grateful for the rights we enjoy that include the freedom to say what we think. I wish there was a way to ensure we think about what we say before we say it.  

Before you decide what you think and express how you feel concerning the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm, please remember it’s easier to sign a petition, attend a meeting, or cast your vote than it is to take your time, pursue the facts of your concerns, weigh the pros and challenges, and then take a step that impacts others as much, or maybe even more, than it does you.  

Please exercise your freedoms conscientiously as you influence the decision of the Tipton County Council regarding the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm.

Jeff Harlow, Sharpsville

Turbines benefit only those leasing

Dr. Williford mentions how assessed value will go up, meaning additional revenue for the school. There will be NO additional revenue from this wind farm for 10 years, if the 10-year abatement is approved!

Consolidation, if it’s coming, would already happen by then!

He talks in many generalities with nothing foundational to base his opinion on. The “acres of farm ground” lost to U.S. 31, for instance. Check to see how many acres have been impacted, then check how many acres have been removed from production in Wildcat Township from the E.On wind farm. Then add in the acres removed from production for Prairie Breeze! You have the turbines, the access roads, maintenance buildings, etc.

He mentions businesses displaced by U.S. 31 … there were three that I can think of (Dirt-N-Turf, Robert Miller & Sons, and Shady Kennels), and one has been replaced with a factory employing more people than all three combined, with higher wages, too!

Who benefits? Only the person leasing the ground to the wind farm benefits. Neighbors get the inconvenience and nice dusty, muddy gravel roads during construction. Property values go down (not many people move to an area to see blinking wind turbines!) Then you have the eyesore for the foreseeable future.

Everyone in the county will be “paying” to have the “opportunity” of another wind farm through taxes due to a tax abatement. Our federal tax dollars are going to helping them construct these things. “Green” energy costs more to produce, and the electric companies charge more for the privilege of using it.

How about offering something that benefits everyone who may be losing property value? How about free electricity for Tipton County? That might sway some votes!

Kevin Vanosdol, Kempton