Lebanon Reporter

Commentary

April 3, 2010

A breezy suggestion for WeBo’s revenue problems

(Continued)

It’s selling the power the turbines generate — and the Portsmouth High School unit was a puny 1.5-megawatts: New turbines crank out 2.5 megawatts, and 3MW units are being developed.

Most of Portsmouth’s profit was absorbed in utility bill credit, the Providence Journal said — but next year, because of changes in the law, the town will be getting monthly checks.

Wind turbines require about seventh-tenths of an acre, Watson told WeBo. There are other variables, of course — including whether the Boone County Commissioners will eventually approve an ordinance allowing industrial wind farms.

Watson said one or two turbines could be built on a 40-acre field. Assuming conditions are adequate for a quartet of turbines, and assuming WeBo strikes a deal similar to Portsmouth’s that’s potentially $1.12 million a year — excluding the $28,000 basic lease payment per turbine.

Good-bye, new tax levy.

Further: In Clinton and White counties, where wind farms are either being installed or have been activated, the turbines are being taxed. That’s more income for county government — and, potentially, less property tax homeowners will have to pay.

One argument against allowing industrial wind farms in western Boone County is that it will stifle residential development.

Converting Boone County’s farmland to subdivisions is not a good idea,

Those homes will have to use wells and septic systems, because they are so far away from municipal utilities the cost of running water and sewer lines would be boggling.

And there’s going to be the commuting cost for the people who live in those homes.

Gasoline prices are expected to reach $3 a gallon this summer; some analysts are anticipating $4 a gallon. That last figure is inevitable, and will one day be fondly recalled as a bargain.

If you consider wind as a crop, then wind turbines are merely another form of combine, on a very large scale.

Let’s start planting.

— Rod Rose is the assistant managing editor of The Lebanon Reporter. He may be reached at rod.rose@reporter.net.

; c/o The Lebanon Reporter, 117 E. Washington St., Lebanon IN 46052 or at (765) 482-4650 x 127.

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