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Two firms hoping to harvest wind in Apache County  

Credit:  Karen Warnick - The Independent, www.wmicentral.com 27 December 2010 ~~

ST. JOHNS – The Board of Supervisors approved conditional use permits for two companies to place up to four meteorological towers that will analyze wind speed, direction and other data. The companies are Invenergy Wind Development and Pacific Wind Development.

Barry Weller, a member of the public, spoke to the supervisors about whether the projects are justifiable. He asked if the County had a position on allowing wind turbines or had questioned anyone from Navajo county on the wind farms that have gone up there.

Weller said that wind farms are a burden to communities and asked the board to please consider the issue before going further.

Supervisor John Lee replied to Weller stating that the towers were just for feasibility studies and said he had talked to people in Navajo county and had not heard of any problems.

Tom Hanson also spoke on the issue and cited his many years of working for Tucson Electric and Power and his experience in renewable energy. He believes that more research needs to be done to see what the capabilities are for the county to develop renewable energy and encouraged the Board to develop a plan to bring more opportunities to the County.

The Board approved the motion for entering into an Independent Contractor Agreement with Doyle Shamley to represent the county in negotiations with the Forest Service and other entities “to ensure county interests are represented” in the Travel Management and Forest Service Revision plans. Shamley is currently serving as the Apache County Resource Manager. The Board approved reimbursement of Shamley’s expenses up to $5,000.

Lee praised Shamley and his efforts and knowledge on the forest issues. “Anyone who knows him knows he does a good job on the issues that the Forest Service has ramrodded on the local citizens. The Forest Service doesn’t like him much, which is good.”

The Board approved the acceptance of an $820,500 Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities planning grant. According to a press released from HUD, “For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is awarding $820,500 to support more livable and sustainable communities in Arizona. The funding will support Apache and Navajo Counties and three Tribal Nations through a new initiative intended to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.”

The Engineering Department received approval to accept a bid for a contract for blasting services at the limestone pit outside St. Johns. An initial bid was rejected and the five more bids came in. The one accepted quoted a price of $1.25 a cubic yard.

The Election Department was approved to appoint the following individuals to vacant positions in the Office of Precinct Committeemen for the Republican Party: Delbert Lambson, Henry Wood and Preston Romero at Coronado precinct, Patricia Staffnik at the Concho precinct, Sandra Wagner at Flat Top, and Norman Moulton and Richard Ayres at the Round Valley precinct.

The item agenda to update the Board on State finances and county budget was tabled until the next supervisors meeting in January.

Source:  Karen Warnick - The Independent, www.wmicentral.com 27 December 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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