The Commissioners’ Court of Clay County got a possible preview of the coming battle regarding future wind farms.
Local rancher Diaz Murray was in attendance and spoke out against the county granting tax abatements or any other potential benefits that might persuade wind farm investors from building any more projects in the county. He said the county is just rated “average” for wind energy potential and believes the drawbacks far outweigh the benefits, including the loss of personal property rights to one’s land. Murray himself said he had a power transmission line constructed through his property that he didn’t want.
“I’m representing every little landowner,” said Murray.
Commissioner Johnny Gee of Precinct 2 said he was not pushing for or against wind farms, and all the commissioners said they had not had any official discussions with wind energy concerns. They also reiterated that the county would not become involved until and unless they were approached by a wind energy company looking to secure tax abatements or some other issue needing the approval of the commissioners.
Diaz also questioned Judge Kenneth Liggett about what he felt was a conflict of interest regarding the judge negotiating with landowners on behalf of a wind energy concern. Judge Liggett said that while he had been in negotiations with landowners, the issue wouldn’t be a conflict of interest since he plans to recuse himself from any vote concerning wind farm projects. He also said he was reluctant to say anything regarding wind farms while the commissioners were meeting because it might appear he was trying to influence their opinions about the matter.
In other action the court:
– Approved payment for all bills relating to Clay County Memorial Hospital, and heard a report about two upcoming surgeries for indigents that the county may be responsible for at up to $30,000 per surgery.
– Approved payment of all bills relating to Clay County.
– Approved Treasurer’s Monthly Affidavit for the month of October.
– Approved to continue to pay cell phone reimbursements for DPS at a maximum of $50 per phone per month.
– Approved an order granting a permit and right-of-way to construct pipeline, road crossing and/or road cut, requested by Rife Energy Operating, INC.
– Approved Precinct 4 to dispose of junk iron.
– Approved entering into a contract with Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding the Bureau of Land Management.
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