Consultants give first update on Cass County’s wind farm project; public meeting to be scheduled

At their meeting today, the Cass County Commissioners heard a presentation from two entities the county has hired to help with the Harvest Wind Energy LLC wind farm project. A representative from Umbaugh & Associates talked about the financial impact of the project while a representative of Barnes and Thornburg talked about the road agreement, economic development agreement and the decommissioning agreement that the legal firm has helped to draft for the county.

Commissioner Jim Sailors said an evening public meeting will be scheduled and advertised in the future.

The presentation and drafts of the proposed agreements were posted this afternoon on Cass County’s website at co.cass.in.us. You can find them by clicking on the “resources” tab or by clicking here.

Here’s some info from today’s presentations:

It would be a 200 megawatt project that would result in about $1,400,000 in landowner payments and 6 to 10 full-time permanent jobs paying $65,000 to $90,000 per job.

Minimum property line setbacks from a non-participant will be 1,000 feet.

Minimum setbacks from an occupied residential dwelling will be 1,640 feet.

Maximum decibel level standards from an occupied residential dwelling will not exceed 50dba measured 50 feet from the nearest corner of the dwelling.

Specific roads would be identified at least 60 days in advance and affected roads and drains would be upgraded to accommodate use. The developer would be required to restore all damaged roads and drains, with a warranty of all repairs for 3 years.

The decommissioning agreement requires removal of turbines and other improvements and other improvements applies when no electricity is generated for 12 consecutive months and is in addition to decommissioning required in property leases.

TOTAL INVESTMENT

Harvest Wind Energy LLC would be making an estimated investment of about $335 million in Cass County.

According to Umbaugh & Associates, here’s what that looks like at the township level:

 

THERE’S A PROPOSED TAX ABATEMENT

The figures provided by Umbaugh & Associates assume a 10-year 55% property tax abatement for the proposed investment. With the abatement, Harvest Wind Energy would pay a total of $9.2 million in property taxes over the next 11 years.

Without abatement, they’d pay a total of $18.5 million over 11 years.

REVENUES FOR SOME CUMULATIVE FUNDS WOULD SEE AN ANNUAL INCREASE

According to Umbaugh’s presentation, six entities would see an increase in their cumulative fund revenues.

 

Here are the proposed property tax impacts on landowners in each of the affected townships, according to Umbaugh’s report:

 

 

COUNTY WOULD RECEIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PAYMENTS

Cass County would receive economic development payments of $1,250,000 a year for four years, for a total of $5 million.