How to protect county roads after a wind farm closes about 30 years from now was discussed at Monday’s commission meeting.
Commission chairman Dianne Novak said her concern is damage to county roads when the turbines are removed.
Brice Barton, vice president of development for Tradewind Energy’s Diamond Vista Wind Project, and the project’s attorney, Greg Musil, talked to commissioners about what happens when the wind farm is decommissioned after its useful lifespan.
Barton said the company’s agreements with landowners cover what happens when the wind turbines are done.
Turbines are removed from the property in pieces, not as large, completed components, Barton said. Removing them is less likely to damage county roads than is installation, Barton said.
A road maintenance agreement will be forged before construction begins.
Since construction needs to begin by April 1, Barton said the company would like to submit applications for 105 building permits prior to finalizing the agreement.
Ultimately, commissioners agreed to allow Diamond Vista to submit building permit applications with a non-refundable fee before a maintenance agreement is finalized. The planning and zoning department is authorized, but not directed, to begin processing applications, but cannot approve them until a road maintenance agreement is executed.
In other business, commissioners approved the purchase of a used John Deere loader for the road and bridge department even though it was the highest of three bids. The loader has had 481 hours of use on it, compared to 1,723 hours and 2,366 hours on two others bid.
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