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August 3, 2013

Tipton BZA considers property value guarantee

Hearing set for Aug. 28 on Prairie Breeze proposal

TIPTON — A property value guarantee proposed for the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm will be heard by the Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals on Aug. 28.

The public hearing is set for 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the Tipton High School.

Board members voted to allow 30-minute presentations from juwi Wind, the leaseholders and the Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development.

The board will listen to public comments, limited to two minutes, and then a 10-minute summation by each of the three groups.

The Prairie Breeze Wind Farm, being proposed by juwi Wind, is a $300-million development that would generate up to 150 megawatts of electricity through up to 94 wind turbines.

Last March, the BZA approved a conditional use permit for the wind farm to be located in Liberty and Prairie townships in northwestern Tipton County.

The permit placed conditions on the development requiring a property value guarantee and wind turbine setbacks of 1,500 feet.

A request to modify the setback requirement was denied a hearing by the BZA.

Though BZA president Jerry Acres said the board doesn’t have the ability to determine the property value guarantee, planning director Steve Edson said the board would dictate the terms of any property value guarantee. He said the county attorney would finalize the agreement with juwi’s attorneys for board approval.

Under the submitted plan the guarantee would cover residential property within three-quarters of a mile of a wind turbine and involve only the first sale after Prairie Breeze goes into operation.

The plan caps juwi Wind’s liability at $1 million.

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