The Alfalfa County commissioners heard an update on the Skeleton Creek valuation from the county assessor at their weekly meeting Monday. Skeleton Creek is the wind energy project located in Major, Alfalfa, and Garfield Counties that combines wind energy, solar energy, and battery energy storage. About 90 turbines are peppered throughout the three counties.
Jennifer Roach explained to Marvin Woodall, Jay Hague and Mike Roach that though Skeleton Creek is protesting, there is no reason to be concerned. She said the main reason they are protesting is to get the county to take a second look at values. The original value was $209 million, but $193 million was the settled amount with Alfalfa County. The $1.7 million tax bill on the settlement amount allows for $252,785 to go into the county general account and $69,766 for EMS.
Roach said in regards to schools, based on last year’s mill levy (though she expects it to be lower this year), she estimates Timberlake Schools to receive at least $1 million. Ringwood Schools should receive about $39,000.
“I know there is some talk going around that they’re protesting, and we’re not going to get any money, and that’s just not true,” said Roach. “They are protesting, but they just want to have that conversation with our office about values and making sure that we’re accounting for everything the way that they are accounting for it also. Protests are not always a big deal. Sometimes it’s just the start of a conversation.”
Skeleton Creek has until June 5 to formally protest with the Board of Equalization.
Commissioners approved a few donations of sick time for county employees, followed by approval on a private property easement to remove rock from an old oil location in the NE ¼ of 11-23-9 of District 3. Last week, the men took no action on a division order (on royalties) on a property named BOYCE1. They weren’t sure what the property or who the source was for the order at that time but approved it this week. It is the right of way for a bridge at the NE¼ of 6-24-12.
The next item garnered no action. Commissioners reviewed written quotes for work in the jail shower and bathroom. One quote asked for a $7,500 deposit (deemed unsuitable), and the other, from Luckinbill, was not itemized. Woodall requested the quote be itemized in time to review it during the next meeting.
Officials then signed two resolutions for disposing of equipment. One was on a 2018 mower/rotary cutter Land Pride (Invoice no. D2 441- 222, Serial no. 1365010). The other was for a 2018 mower/rotary cutter Land Pride (Invoice no. D2 441- 223, Serial no. 1365011). Both were from District 2.
A $20,000 transfer for bunker gear was made from the Helena Rescue Maintenance and Operation account 1321-3-8214-2005 to the Helena Rescue Capital Outlay account 1321-3-8214-4110.
Commissioners then signed to remove county employee Iridian Herrera as OSU Extension receiving officer and add Delana Hansel.
Next, the trio signed the FY 2021-22 Estimate of Needs from the Excise Board, Library, County General M&O, and Ins/Work Comp/Retire/ Unemployment. They signed Estimates of Need last week, but those mentioned above were accidentally paper-clipped to other papers and did not get signed.
A service and price agreement with Alfalfa County District 3 and Alcohol and Drug Testing, Inc. was the last thing the commissioners signed before the meeting adjourned. (They approved previous meeting minutes, payroll warrants, maintenance and operation warrants, and blanket purchase orders earlier in the meeting.)
In last week’s meeting, a $943.10 transfer was made from the OSU Extension Travel account (0001-5-0900-1310) to the OSU Extension Capital Outlay account (0001-5-0900-4110) for the purchase of a new computer.
Commissioners approved a resolution for the American Rescue Plan Act funding proceeds. County Clerk Laneta Unruh said any grant has to run through a meeting as a resolution to meet audit requirements. It serves as an acknowledgment that money will be coming in. The county expects to receive over $1,000,000 in funds.
Other items approved were a private property access easement for NE¼ of 15-24-10 in District 3 to repair a waterway; a declaration of the surplus of a 1999 Freightliner semi ((Inv. no. D2 302-239, Serial no. 1FUWJJCBXXHB84820) in District 2; and an equipment disposal resolution for a 2020 CAT 323 TC/Trackhoe
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