ERIE – Backers of a planned wind generation farm in southwest Neosho County gave an update to county commissioners at Friday morning’s meeting.
Jade Scheele of Apex Clean Energy told commissioners that they held a landowner luncheon in Thayer and an open house Thursday at the Erie High School for 300 landowners.
Scheele said the Neosho Ridge Wind Project is in the leasing stage. Apex Clean Energy, based in Charlottesville, Va., wants to have construction of the 300-megawatt wind generation project completed in 2019.
About 14,000 acres are under lease, Scheele said, and 8,000 acres are still being dealt with by attorneys. The company hopes to have 75 percent of the property leased by the end of this year. The target is 40,000 acres, but Scheele said they will not need to have all of that when plans are finalized.
The turbines will be north of Parsons Lake between US-169 and US-59. The company is gathering wind data to determine exactly how many turbines will be built, from 100 to 125. Apex has wind farms in Oklahoma, Texas and Illinois. Neosho Ridge will be the company’s flagship of three farms under construction.
It has acquired a project in Graham County and is plan-ning a 195-megawatt project in Bourbon and Crawford counties. Its closest Oklahoma farms to Chanute are operating in Kay and Grant counties.
Scheele said she expects construction to provide 150 jobs, and after that 15 jobs will remain for operation and maintenance. She said the company is lining up customers, but none have committed.
In other business, the commission accepted the resignation of Human Resources Director Teri Winkler effective July 14. The move came after a half-hour executive session.
Commissioners also approved payment of a voucher after a 20-minute executive session to discuss courthouse security. They took no action after three other executive sessions, and spent a total of 2 ½ hours in closed session during the 5 ½-hour meeting.
Commissioners voted to reappoint Bob McElroy as county appraiser for four years, and talked via conference call with south county resident Peter Schwartz of 8300 10th Road. Schwartz and his father live on a closed road on the line with Labette County. Commission chair David Bideau said Schwartz would have to petition both counties to reopen the road, which under an agreement would be maintained by Labette County. Schwartz said a Labette County commissioner has told him it is Neosho County’s responsibility, because a past road and bridge director had some work done more than a decade ago after the road was closed.
Commissioners also heard a report on the Katy Road project from inspector George Finical of Cook, Flatt and Strobel.
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