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5/15/2017 11:04:00 AM
Anderson OKs tax abatements for second solar park, two new homes

Ken de la Bastide, Herald Bulletin City and County Government Reporter

ANDERSON — The Anderson City Council has approved a 10-year tax abatement for the city’s second solar park being developed by the Indiana Municipal Power Agency.

The council on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the 100-percent abatement.

IMPA is investing $12 million to install 30,000 solar panels as part of the development of an 8.2-megawatt solar generating facility on Madison Avenue north of Cross Street. Each megawatt requires four acres.

The proposed solar park will cover 60 acres with 27 acres located in the county and 33 acres in the Anderson city limits.

Jack Alvery, senior vice president of generation for IMPA, said landscaping will be added on the site.

Councilman Lance Stephenson, D-5th District, requested that additional landscaping be included along Madison Avenue.

IMPA’s two largest solar parks will be located in Anderson. Its 5-megawatt solar park, at Park Road and 60th Street, went online in January. IMPA currently has 12 other sites online in the state.

The solar park will take an estimated four months to construct and should be generating electricity by the fourth quarter of 2017, Alvery previously said.

Initially, Anderson's first solar park was planned for the northeast corner of Rangeline Road and Ind. 32 but was relocated to Park Road and 60th Street when the Federal Aviation Administration raised concerns that glare from the solar panels could affect pilots landing at Anderson Municipal Airport twice a year.

The Park Road project cost an estimated $8.5 million for the 19,350 solar panels on 40 acres adjacent to a peaking power plant using fossil fuels. The peaking power plant was approved in 1980 and expanded in 2002.

In 2015, Anderson City Council approved a 10-year tax abatement for the Park Road solar park.

Residential tax abatement

The council unanimously approved ordinances approving two residential tax abatements in the Apple Downs subdivision on 53rd Street near the intersection with Rangeline Road.

Greenfield builder Bridgenorth Homes received a three-year tax abatement on the construction of a spec home valued at $182,390 at 6515 Bluegrass Drive.

Mike Leslie with Bridgenorth Homes said he has an agreement with the Apple Downs developer to buy the 48 remaining lots in the subdivision.

“There should be a demand for the houses,” he said. “Activity creates activity."

Leslie said he will build custom homes on the lots.

He asked whether the city would consider a tax abatement on the remaining 48 lots.

Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said he would research the request.

Winkler said there are about 450 houses listed for sale in the Anderson market and normally at this time of the year the inventory would be between 1,400 and 1,500.

“We’re out of inventory currently,” Winkler said.

The council also approved a tax abatement for Gary and Darlene Williams for construction of a new house by Bridgenorth Homes valued at $219,545 at 6523 Bluegrass Drive.

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