Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 25, 2013

Search continues for BZA member

Bids for migrant housing received

By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune enterprise editor

— TIPTON — The search for an alternate member to serve on the Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals will continue.

The Plan Commission and Commissioners had to name three alternates to consider the conditional use permit filed by juwi Wind for the construction of a 150-megawatt wind farm in Prairie and Liberty townships in northwestern Tipton County.

The commissioners originally named Neal Planalp and John Law to serve as alternates to hear the petition for the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm.

Law stepped down last week because of a potential conflict of interest involving land in Clinton County his family owns that may fall under a lease for a wind turbine in the future.

The BZA was supposed to consider the conditional use permit request on Monday, but the board voted to grant an extension of time to the group opposed to the wind farm, Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development. No new date has been set, but the hearing is expected to take place within the next 14 to 38 days.

Commissioner Phil Heron said Monday during the Board of County Commissioners meeting that no alternate has been selected. Heron said the commissioners are still looking for an alternate.

Commissioner Joe VanBibber said a fifth member has to be named to the BZA to hear the juwi Wind request.

“Our objection is to find a person acceptable to do the job and have no conflicts of interest,” he said. “It is not easy to find someone.”

Mike Cline, president of the Board of Commissioners, has recused himself from seeking an alternate to the BZA or voting on the appointment. He didn’t give a reason for recusing himself when the commissioners voted to name Planalp and Law as the alternates.

Whom ever is named as the alternate will join Planalp, Plan Commission alternate Carroll Cohee and BZA members Jerry Acres and Frank Zickmund in hearing the request for the conditional use permit.

In other business

A second round of bids to construct migrant worker housing at Triple S Farms near Windfall came in higher than the available funds.

Triple S Farms was awarded a $419,900 grant through the Area V Agency in Logansport to construct 10-wood framed cabins of 440 square foot each to house 40 workers.

Bids received on Monday from Morrow Construction was $631,830 for a base bid and $108,000 for an alternate bid. Fredericks Construction submitted a base bid of $593,204 and alternate bids of $76,250 and $65,565.

The Commissioners took the bids under advisement and referred them to the Area V Agency for review.

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