Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

October 13, 2013

Public eye, Oct. 13, 2013

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Coming full circle

year ago, when the city of Kokomo decided not to continue funding the Emergency Management Agency, there was an impasse with county officials concerning vehicles.

After some discussion, it was agreed that Kokomo would transfer the title to Howard County for the majority of the vehicles used by EMA. In return, the county transferred the title for two tanker trucks to the Kokomo Fire Department.

The Howard County Commissioners on Monday approved a resolution to take possession of a 4,000-gallon tanker for use by EMA. The tanker truck, stripped of emergency lighting, sirens — and the dump tank — was going to be auctioned off by the city of Kokomo.

The county received the tanker truck from the city for no monetary consideration.

New wind ordinance in Tipton County

he Tipton County Plan Commission is set to amend the county’s ordinance for the regulation of wind farms.

Plan commission members will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Tipton County 4-H Building to finalize the document, which has been under review for several months.

The unresolved issue concerns the procedure to be used in the future to site proposed wind farms in the county.

Their options are to continue the current procedure requiring Board of Zoning Appeals approval of a conditional use permit, create overlay districts where wind farms will be a permitted use or require a rezoning of property for the placement of wind turbines from agricultural to industrial use.

Tipton County Commissioner Joe VanBibber, a member of the plan commission, is expected to propose a map for the creation of overlay districts in the county.

The unknown is whether VanBibber can get the required votes for to adopt the overlay district plan.

Changes already approved include a minimum setback distance of 1,500 feet from a wind turbine to the nearest property line, with the added provision a turbine can’t be located within 2,640 feet of a residential property. Another change already approved is no wind turbine may be placed within 1 mile of a municipal or county boundary.

Come here, my deer

tate Rep. Heath VanNatter, R-Kokomo, was a happy guy last week when a Harrison County judge opened the way for “canned” deer hunts in Indiana.

VanNatter, who was a key sponsor of a bill to legalize so-called “high fenced” deer hunting preserves last year, quickly posted news of the judge’s decision on his Facebook page.

“It’s good for Hoosiers when out-of-state hunters come in and pay thousands of dollars to hunt. For rural areas of Indiana it is a good way to create jobs,” VanNatter wrote.

Several hunting groups had prevailed on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources years ago to oppose the preserves, arguing that fenced-in deer herds were likely to spread Chronic Wasting Disease to wild Indiana deer.

The Harrison County decision, which ruled the DNR overstepped its bounds in banning the preserves, makes it more likely the preserves will eventually be legalized. The DNR has yet to decide whether they will appeal the Harrison County decision.

Expect the topic to be revisited when the Indiana General Assembly reconvenes next year. Gov. Mike Pence has already said he would be “open” to the legislation, which we take to mean he’d sign it.