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Pratt Feeders seeks variance on wind generator ban  

Credit:  By J.W. Keene, The Pratt Tribune, www.pratttribune.com 27 September 2011 ~~

Pratt, Kan. – Reid Bell, Pratt Airport Authority, told Pratt County Commissioners, there were additional problems at the airport because of their banning of wind farm development over the next several months. Pratt Feeders has plans to use wind energy to run the mill at the feedlot, but the county’s ban is now preventing development of the project.

According to Bell, a variance should be granted to BTI and Pratt Feeders to continue developing the project. The Pratt Airport Authority has no objection to the project north of the airport, according to Bell, since the unit is far shorter (267’ in total height) than the units proposed by Indek south of the airport. The major problem is that the tower would set on a separate plot of land from the mill, and thus would be illegal under the ban.

“The pilots’ association is against it,” said Bell. “They would vote down a wind generator in Nebraska at this time.”

“Dave Howard (Pratt City Manager) told me he told BTI that they were included in the moratorium,” said Pratt County Commissioner Dwight Adams.

“Because the unit falls under the title of distribution we need an agreement between the city and BTI and approval of the county commission,” said Bell. “The Airport Authority in not opposed to doing this based on state aviation authority, we’re leaning on this not being a bad thing.”

In other matters, commissioners:

•Approved the minutes of the last meeting without change.

• Noted that Pratt County Commissioner was absent due to the death of his sister-in-law.

• Were informed by Pratt County Road and Bridge Supervisor Randy Phillippi was still waiting to discuss getting property values for land for the proposed Cairo Road with Pratt County Appraiser D.J. McMurry.

• Were informed by Pratt County Landfill Director Dean Staab that Pratt City Manager Dave Howard and Russ Rambat attended the public hearing held on the Pratt County Landfill Plan. The county will now have to submit the plan to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for its approval.

“We’re filling out the same forms some of the Class “D” landfills fill out and sometimes it doesn’t apply,” said Staab.

Staab went on to say the crew was working on reshaping the roads and planting grass at the landfill. Additionally, weeds were being sprayed with the weather change, which were unavailable for spraying earlier in the year.

“SUNOCO is coming out to look at the recycling operation this week, to see how we can be more efficient,” said Staab.

Staab said he was going to ask Phillippi to patch the potholes at the recycling center and get needed repairs to the bailer. Additionally, Staab said he wanted to get bids on paving the entryway into the recycling center and purchasing a new improved Polaris 4-wheeler. Commissioners approved.

• Were informed by Pratt County Sheriff Vernon Chinn, the city of Pratt had approved their share of the rehabilitation costs for the Pratt County Law Enforcement Center.

• Learned from Pratt County Lake Supervisor Dane Sullivan, there had been electrical problems with RV site No. 6 over the weekend. Sullivan told commissioners the problem had been solved.

Sullivan said he had to kick a couple of groups off the piers at the lake, for burning pallets after that had been instructed to cease and desist.

Sullivan discussed the cost of trees, plaques and benches with the county commissioners. He said the Veterans’ Memorial Associations had asked to donate one bench at the lake. Commissioners told Sullivan to purchase benches like being used on the trail at the lake. Additionally, Sullivan said he would like to have some additional help pouring concrete at the lake, since it was up to 12 yards at this time and he did not think two people could do it by themselves.

• Tiffany Brown, RSVP, brought checks for the commissioners to sign. She said she would be going to the Kansas Association of RSVP Directors, this Wednesday thru Friday.

• Were told by Peggy Lee, the Pratt County Veterans’ Memorial Lake Committee would be meeting on the second Tuesday of the month from now on, due to conflicts with other meetings.

Lee said construction materials at the lake needed to be removed and was told to ask Phillippi for assistance. Also, cables still need to be placed through the posts at the lake.

Went into executive session for non-elected personnel with Lee for 10-minutes.

• Went into executive session with Pratt County Counselor Gordon Stull and D.J. McMurry for 10-minutes to discuss attorney client privilege.

•Approved resolution regarding Pratt County Landfill Plan.

• Were told by Stull, there was no need to take any action relating to a class action suit against McKesson. The drugs in question were either purchased by the Pratt County Health Department, or by employees through their drug programs.

• Were notified the closing for the refinancing of road and bridge and hospital bonds, would be October 13th.

• Held a 10-minute executive session with Stull during which he resigned as Pratt County Counselor.

Source:  By J.W. Keene, The Pratt Tribune, www.pratttribune.com 27 September 2011

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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