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Wind farm request put on hold by Gratiot board  

Credit:  By Linda Gittleman, The Morning Sun | 10/02/13 | www.themorningsun.com ~~

A problem with a document concerning the Beebe Wind Farm and Exelon generated a discussion at the Gratiot County Commission meeting.

The wind farm wanted to replace a letter of agreement involving the future decommissioning of the wind turbines with a letter of credit.

Instead of an agreement, the bank is guaranteeing the money that could be used at that time, County Administrator Jeff Huff said.

“But this could be the Bank of Zimbabwe,” said Commissioner Scott Showers.

Huff explained that the consultations between the wind farm and the county planning commission had been lengthy, and that nothing had been decided spur of the moment. He was urging the board to approve the letter of credit.

“The letter of credit is better than a performance bond,” he said, quoting the county attorney who had reviewed the document.

But Showers pointed out that in order to agree to the change, the county wide ordinance would have to be changed.

Huff replied that the county attorney had approved it. Would Showers like a letter from the attorney explaining why it is better?

“I’m going to need a lot more info,” he said, again mentioning the change in the ordinance. “Are they in a big hurry?”

They are, he was told.

The county’s planning commission is the authority that would sign the document, but Huff said that members of the planning commission wanted the board of commissioner’s OK first.

Huff said he is gathering information from the attorney to give to the commissioners.

In another matter, the county board approved the repaving of the court parking lot, where staff and police cars are often parked.

The matter was approved with little discussion, following last week’s special meeting at which Commissioner Jan Bunting firmly objected to the plan to repave the lot.

Citing homeless people who are living in tents and asking that county residents tour the lot in order to determine the need, Bunting said at the earlier meeting that she was against spending the money.

At Tuesday’s meeting, however, Showers said he had examined the lot and found it in “pretty bad shape. It needs to be done.”

And the money for the approximate $40,000 cost has already been budgeted, he noted.

Bunting asked why the county would not be repaving the whole thing and was told that it didn’t need it.

The measure passed unanimously.

“By waiting one week, I changed my mind,” Bunting said.

Source:  By Linda Gittleman, The Morning Sun | 10/02/13 | www.themorningsun.com

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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