By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune enterprise editor
— Alliance Excavating could start work this week on the demolition of nine flood-prone homes in Howard County.
The work is being funded by the federal Flood Mitigation Program and will come after a decade of waiting.
Greg Sheline, director of the Howard County Plan Commission, said Monday that he met with representatives from Alliance Excavating, and the work could start this week or early next week.
Sheline said a study of the nine homes is being done to determine if there is any asbestos concerns in the houses.
“I don’t anticipate any change orders,” Sheline said of the proposed work. “If the asbestos study comes back good, demolition work could begin.”
The Commissioners awarded a contract to Alliance Excavating in February in the amount of $85,640 for the demolition of the homes.
The houses were constructed more than 30 years ago and have been prone to flooding when the Wildcat Creek overflows its banks. The houses are located along Ridge Road, Hillcrest Court and Hillcrest Drive.
In other business, John West, president of the Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development, urged the Howard County Commissioners to attend the March 20 meeting of the Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals when it will consider a conditional use permit for the proposed Prairie Breeze Wind Farm.
Juwi Wind is proposing a $300 million investment in Prairie and Liberty townships for the construction of up to 94 wind turbines that will generate 150 megawatts of electricity.
West said the group, which is opposed to the development, has done extensive research on the placement of the wind turbines in a populated area of Tipton County.
He said property values will be impacted and there are health concerns if the wind turbines are located near residential properties.
“Come hear the experts before considering the placement of wind turbines in Howard County,” West said. “The people of Howard County have no idea of the invasion that is about to happen.”
E-on Climate & Renewables is considering expansion of the existing Wildcat Wind Farm into portions of eastern Howard County as a part of the second phase of the project. Wind turbines could also be placed in Howard County as part of the third phase of the wind farm development.
Company officials have indicated Phase 2 will be developed in Howard and Grant counties. It will erect 40 to 60 wind turbines. Eighty percent of those will be in Grant County. It is expected to generate 100 megawatts of electricity.
Sixty-five percent of the wind turbines in phase three of the project will be in Howard County, southeast of Greentown. The remainder will be in Grant County.
Tyler Moore, president of the Board of Commissioners, said Howard County has not been informed of specific sites for the placement of the wind turbines by E-on.
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