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Wind farm moratorium extended

Pratt, Kan. – Pratt County Commissioners Joe Reynolds, Dwight Adams and Charles Rinke passed a resolution during their regular Monday session unanimously, extending the moratorium on erecting any wind turbine in Pratt County designed for commercial use. The resolution extends an existing moratorium until March 13, 2012.

The resolution stated the development of land for utility scale wind energy production, has been proposed in Pratt County with construction potentially beginning prior to the time in which zoning regulations for Pratt County, will even with all reasonable diligence, be developed, adopted and in place.

Additionally, the resolution states the development of land for utility scale energy production prior to the adoption of zoning regulations, will threaten the utility and integrity of subsequently adopted zoning regulations, and creates risk of injury to public welfare.

This resolution shall have no further force and effect upon the adoption of comprehensive zoning regulations by the Pratt County Zoning Board and the Pratt County commissioners. No activity undertaken in violation of this resolution, shall give rise to a right to continue any land use, in whole or in part, as a non-conforming use following the adoption of zoning regulations by the Board and commissioners.

In other matters, commissioners:

• Approved the minutes of the previous regular meeting and the last joint meeting with the Pratt County Zoning Board without changes

• Discussed with Tim Branscom, Pratt County Zoning Administrator, issues relating to the Pratt County taking over the extraterritorial zoning area (3-mile limit) currently being enforced, by the city of Pratt.

• Were informed by Pratt County Road and Bridge Supervisor Randy Phillippi, that rights-of-way for the proposed Cairo Road extension have been finalized at a cost of about $300,000.

• Were notified by Pratt County Clerk Sherry Kruse, that transfers from existing departmental accounts into next year’s funds, will be due in two weeks.

• Were notified by Tiffany Brown, Director of RSVP, there currently are 327 “angels” on the Christmas gift trees at Alco and Wal-Mart. Last year, according to Brown, there were 334 applicants. With two-weeks left to apply Brown thinks there will be more applicants this year.

• Discussed with Dean Staab, Director of Pratt County Landfill, the possibility of adjusting winter hours for landfill employees. Staab said it could possibly save the county money and give employees a break from their six day a week positions.

• Discussed the purchasing of trees for Pratt County Veterans’ Memorial Lake with Peggy Lee.

• Held a 10-minute executive session with Debbie McGraw, Director of Pratt County Health Department, relating to non-elected personnel.

• Passed a resolution for up to three ($1,500 each, or $4,500 annually for five years), Rural Opportunity Zone repayment of qualified student loans up to $7,500.