EUREKA – Energy was a main topic of discussion Tuesday night at the Woodford County Board meeting.
First, the board heard from Duane Enger, a project manager with Gamesa Energy USA. He said his firm would like to begin construction in April on a long-planned wind farm near Minonk. Permits to facilitate that construction could be applied for in January, he said.
Depending on approval and on how many wind turbines are built, construction ultimately could result in the county receiving about $360,000 in fees.
Later, board members decided to table until their Oct. 18 meeting the acceptance of a services agreement with an energy broker.
Before the meeting, representatives of New York-based Good Energy presented the board with a plan to provide consulting and consumer education regarding state deregulation of energy suppliers. This agreement would cover unincorporated areas of Woodford County where residents receive power from Ameren Illinois or Commonwealth Edison.
Board member Terry Pille, who said he is familiar with Good Energy through his work with the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, favored approval of the agreement. So did board member Russell Cotton.
But the majority wanted more time to inspect the Good Energy proposal and to solicit proposals from other companies.
“I feel these folks were very vague about the contract,” board member Tom Evans said. “Let’s take our time and do it right.”
According to State’s Attorney Greg Minger, the board also needs to approve an ordinance that would allow a referendum on whether residents will participate in the program. If the ordinance is enacted, the referendum would be held in March.
“Everybody who’s got skin in the game has got a job to do and get it done in the next 30 days,” board member Larry Whitaker said.
Municipal boards in Eureka and Roanoke have approved deals with Good Energy. Such deals have been touted as saving consumers up to 20 percent on their energy bills.