Pulaski County is looking to protect itself when major infrastructure work starts locally at some point in the future.
On Monday night, the County’s Highway Department approached the Pulaski County Commissioners with a “Road Use” Agreement. The contract is expected to be signed with NIPSCO as work continues on the Reynolds-Topeka Electric Transmission Line.
Large scale machinery will be used to upgrade the area’s energy infrastructure in line with federal energy guidelines. Pulaski County Attorney Kevin Tankersley says this compensates the county in the instance of damage to the roadways.
“The Topeka-Reynolds contact person I have discussed this with,” says Tankersley. “And he’s waiting for us to send him a proposed agreement and then he’s going to get back with us.”
The transmission project has been in the works for a couple of years.
The transmission line will run over 100 miles and cost about $270-million dollars to construct. Transporting renewable energy from rural areas to more densely populated areas is key to meeting federal renewable energy standards. A proposed route was presented to the state of Indiana with approval granted in 2013.
Pulaski County says that as work progresses, it’s important to have something in writing. The agreement is modeled after one used between NIPSCO and White County. Highway Department Superintendent Terry Ruff says this is nothing unusual for the company.
“The bottom line is White County has dealt with this before with the windmills, so this is a good guideline to go by, I guess is what I’m trying to say,” says Ruff.
The Reynolds-Topeka Line is not expected to be in operation until 2018.
The Pulaski County Commissioners agreed to sign the agreement unanimously, Monday night.