March 10, 2015

Residents voice approval for wind farm

By Delania Trigg | Gainesville Daily Register | March 10, 2015 |

A group of Cooke County residents spoke out at Monday’s Cooke County Commissioners Court meeting in favor of the creation of a reinvestment zone.

The Muenster Wind Farm Reinvestment Zone is the first step to providing economic incentives for OWN Energy to build a wind generator development near Muenster.

During a public hearing, Gainesville Mayor Jim Goldsworthy said the reinvestment zone will be an economic boost both to the county and to Gainesville.

“(The reinvestment zone) falls hand in glove with what I’ve talked about for years…in order to have a strong Gainesville, we have to have a strong Cooke County,” Goldsworthy told the court.

Resident Dave Flusche said county leaders should look to the future when considering current issues including economic incentives to help attract new businesses and industry to Cooke County.

“Metroplex sprawl is coming this way,” Flusche said. “Investors expect favorable tax treatment.”

Commissioners voted four to zero to approve the creation of the five-year reinvestment zone. Pct. 3 Commissioner Al Smith was not at the meeting.

OWN Energy senior development manager Nathan Vajdos addressed the court after the vote.

Vajdos said his next order of business is obtaining a road use agreement. He also said a percentage of any revenue produced by the wind farm project is earmarked for economic development.

“We always allocate a certain amount of money to economic development,” Vajdos said. “We have economic development dollars that we intend to invest in the community.”

Economic development projects could include an area scholarship fund and money for Cooke County volunteer fire departments.

The court also voted to approve an agreement with Otis Elevator Company to repair the courthouse elevator.

The elevator is fully functional, maintenance director Rick Kerr said, adding the maintenance issue is a glitch in a circuit board which could cause the elevator to malfunction when a fire alarm is activated.

“In fire alarm mode, the elevator goes to the first floor and the doors won’t open,” Kerr said.

The repair is expected to cost $8,700.

Judge Jason Brinkley said he’d like the court to possibly reevaluate its maintenance agreement with Otis “once it comes due next time.”

The court also approved awarding bids for Road Aggregate Bid No. FY15-005 beginning April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016.

In addition, the court approved the annual renewal agreement and price increase between Cooke County and Schad and Pulte Welding Supply, Inc. for oxygen cylinders and welding supplies.

The court also approved the following consent agenda items:

• Consider and possibly approve the minutes of the Feb. 23, 2015 regular meeting.

• Receive and file for record departmental reports for Maintenance (December and January), Constable pct. 1 (February), Delinquent Tax Report (February), County Attorney (February), EMS (February), Library (February), Extension (February) and Constable Pct. 4 (February).

• Consider and possibly FY2015 budget amendments.

• Consider and possibly monthly bills.

• Consider and possibly payroll and all related expenses.

• Receive and file for record the quarterly internal audits of the District Attorney’s Office, County Clerk’s Office and Constable, Pct. 1.

• Consider and possibly approve the surplus by trade-in of a 2009 Chevrolet C3500 chassis to Mac Haik Chevrolet via Frazer Bilt.

• Consider and possibly approve the indigent cremation of one individual.

• Consider and possibly approve the annual renewal between Cooke County and First Southwest Company for continuing disclosure services.

• Consider and possibly approve accepting auction proceeds from the sale of a 1999 Ford Explorer in the amount of $2,138.45.

• Consider and possibly approve a contract amendment between Cooke County and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

• Consider and possibly approve accepting a donation in the amount of $10 to the Cooke County Library from Dorothy Newberry for research.

• Consider and possibly approve annual renewal between Cooke County and Impact Instrumentation Inc. for maintenance services for EMS ventilator equipment.

• Consider and possibly approve a donation in the amount of $12.40 to the Cooke County Library from anonymous donors.

• Consider and possibly approve a lease agreement between Cooke County and Xerox for copy machine services for the human resources office, beginning March 16, 2015 through March 16, 2016 with four one-year renewals.

• Consider and possibly approve a donation in the amount of $50 to the Cooke County Library from Mrs. Charles Holley.

• Consider and possibly approve the statement of VMware Infrastructure Refresh Completion between Cooke County and Alexander Open Systems for the installation of updated VMware at the Cooke County Justice Center.

The court took no action on an agenda item regarding legislation which could impact North Texas Medical Center and Cooke County and on an item regarding the Texas Department of Transportation’s County Transportation Infrastructure Fund Grant Program.

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