SAFE Schools group eyes wind farm money

A committee tasked with making Allen County schools safer are eyeing PILOT funds paid annually by the Prairie Queen Wind Farm owners. The payments in lieu of taxes are to be used "to enhance educational opportunities."

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Local News

February 19, 2020 - 10:41 AM

Members of the SAFE Schools Committee review their accomplishments since the group formed in 2018. They met last week to plan their next project. Members include, from left, Chi Wiggin, Kay Lewis, Ryan Bilderback, Ken McWhirter, Angie Murphy, County Commissioner Bruce Symes, Doug Tressler, Cynthia Jacobson and Danny Rodriguez. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

Now that the Prairie Queen Wind Farm is operational, owners EDP Renewals at some point this year will pay $250,000 to Allen County as a “payment in lieu of taxes” (PILOT). Those payments will be made each year for the next 10 years while the wind farm is exempt from property taxes. The only stipulation is that the money is to be used “to enhance educational opportunities.”

Allen County commissioners will distribute the money, but it is not quite clear how they will do so.

The SAFE Schools committee, a countywide volunteer group with representatives of area schools and public service agencies, plan to attend the March 3 commission meeting to ask commissioners to start thinking about how they might distribute those funds.

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