LIMA – Residents concerned about the aesthetics with large industrial wind farms and solar facilities and the corporations who want to install them in Allen County will soon find out where, if at all, the sites can be built.
Assistant prosecutor Kayla Campbell met with the Allen County Commissioners on Tuesday morning to provide legal advice and answer any remaining questions the commissioners had regarding Ohio Senate Bill 52, which became effective Oct. 11 and revised state law governing wind farms and solar facilities.
The bill puts power in the hands of local authorities, with the law requiring the approval of the county commissioners before a development can start the siting process to receive certification. SB52 gives them the ability to establish restricted areas where industrial wind and solar-powered projects are prohibited.
Campbell reviewed the legal procedures the commissioners must follow to comply with their statutory requirements, such as holding public meetings, making public notifications and providing maps showing locations that could potentially be affected by their decisions.
While a final decision ultimately rests at the table of commissioners Cory Noonan, Beth Seibert and Brian Winegardner, all three seemed to agree township input is vital.
“We will have heard from each of our townships passing a resolution on their recommendations on what should be done in their specific township,” Noonan said. “We will take their recommendations into consideration as we move along to the next step.”
Before ending the meeting, the commissioners developed a timeline to finish gathering township resolutions for their consideration.
The commissioners will likely revisit the issue again sometime at the beginning of next month as they finalize their plans.
All of Allen County’s townships except for Bath and Jackson have already passed resolutions saying yes or no to these kinds of developments, Noonan said. Bath Township trustees didn’t want to pass an ordinance in favor or opposed to it. Jackson Township trustees were expected to vote on it Tuesday, but that meeting was postponed until Feb. 1.
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