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Suggestions welcome on wind farm agreements

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

The Henry County Commissioners are looking for input on the three agreements the county requires for prospective wind farm development.

County residents and officials have been working with wind company representatives to update the Wind Energy Conversion System (WECS) ordinance.

Commissioner president Butch Baker wants to use this time to also review the three standard agreements that Henry County requires wind farm companies to abide by before starting a project.

“We’ve got to start some place,” Baker said. “We need to quit kicking this can down the road and get it over with.”

The agreements are about roads and drains, economic development and potential decommissioning of WECS structures.

The county currently has signed agreements with NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and Whitewater Wind, LLC.

Henry County Commissioner Kim Cronk said that, other than company details, each company signs identical agreements.

The three agreements are available online at www.henryco.net/WindEnergy.aspx.

At the end of Wednesday’s commissioner meeting, Baker invited everyone to review the three agreements and make any recommendations they had.

Recommendations need to be submitted in writing to the Henry County Commissioners office, 101 S. Main St., New Castle. The deadline for recommendation submissions is 4 p.m. Feb. 1.

The commissioners will hold a special public meeting and review of the three agreements at 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at the courthouse. Public input will be accepted at the meeting, Baker said.

Also in WECS-related news, Sulphur Springs resident Marsha Gratner asked the Henry County Commissioners to support the various resolutions that area towns have signed against the development of industrial wind farms in Henry County.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the commissioners selected Baker to remain as president and Cronk to remain as vice president in 2018.

All three commissioners also updated their conflict of interest disclosure statements, which mirror statements that they have each filed in previous years.

The next regular meeting of the Henry County Commissioners is 6 p.m. Feb. 14 in the county courthouse.