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County Commission hears request from Invenergy on road use agreement  

Credit:  By Joey May | Hiawatha World | www.hiawathaworldonline.com ~~

The Brown County Commission heard from two Invenergy company officials on road use agreements at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Invenergy is worldwide company offering clean energy options that include wind, solar, natural gas and more. The company is currently laying transmission lines for the Grain Belt Express project across Kansas and company officials came to the Brown County Commission to introduce the topic of road access agreements.

Company official Jason Brown, along with Invenergy attorney Andrew Schulte presented an update on the project, which is slated for construction in 2024, with a possible start in late 2023 and an projected finish date by 2025.

Brown told the commissioners that the transmission lines will run across 14 counties in Kansas and into Missouri, where company offices will be located. He said so far there is an estimated payout on easements of $62 million and the laying of the express line will bring about 7,500 jobs, leading to a multi-billion dollar investment in Kansas with a projected $2 billion in revenue over the lifetime of the project.

Brown said that so far there has been a $4.8 million payout to landowners and revenue to the tune of $11 million in property taxes.

While the actual construction is a ways out, Brown said he was meeting with each of the county commissions to present land use agreements. He went over several facets of the agreement at Tuesday’s meeting and answered some questions from the commissioners and County Attorney Kevin Hill.

Brown said the roads would not take the wear and tear that building a wind farm would entail, as they aren’t traveling in with heavy loads such as big wind turbines. He said the transmission stations will be brought in pieces and put together on site.

Brown also assured commissioners that the easement talks were peaceful and so far only a handful of requests have gone to court.

“We don’t want to use imminent domain,” he said. “We don’t want to use attorneys, we would rather have a conversation with landowners.”

Brown also told commissioners that there need not be concern over pushy land agents, stating that Invenergy hires reputable and credible agents but told the commissioners to contact him with any concerns.

The agreements were left with the commissioners and Hill to review and no action was taken at Tuesday’s meeting.

In other business:

Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, reported that Town and Country EMS will not be utilizing the county for purchase of the new ambulance.

Oil Bids for an estimated 500,000 gallons of RS-1H for road oiling were opened. Bids were as follows: Vance Brothers, Inc. with a bid of $1.99 for RS-1H, $2.25 for RS-1HP and $2.05 for RS-1H Plus per gallon; Ergon with a bid of $2.47 for RS-1H, and $2.78 for RS-1HP per gallon and Coastal Refining & Marketing with a bid of $2.29 for RS-1H and $2.59 for RS-1HP per gallon. Road Foremen John Selland, Jerry Hisle and Rodney Allen were present for the bid opening. Motion by Richard Lehmkuhl to accept the Vance Brothers, Inc. bid of $2.05 for RS-1H Plus per gallon. Seconded by William Pollock. Motion carried.
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John Selland reported on information he received from a quarry out of Dubois, NE on rock for chip and seal.

The commission has requested County Attorney, Kevin Hill, draft an exemption to the Formal Solicitation portion of the county Purchasing Policy.

Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, requested a five-minute executive session. Motion by Lamar Shoemaker for a five minute Executive Session on non-elected personnel with the three commissioners, John Selland, Jerry Hisle, Rodney Allen, and Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, present to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel with executive session necessary to protect privacy interests. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Closed 10:05 a.m. Opened 10:10 a.m. No binding action taken.

Motion by Lamar Shoemaker to move two of the road crew to crewman level IV. Seconded by William Pollock. Motion carried.

Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, presented the Annual Noxious Weed Eradication Progress Report for the commissioner’s approval. Motion by Richard Lehmkuhl to approve the Noxious Weed Eradication Progress Report. Seconded by William Pollock. Motion carried.

Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, discussed the possibility of moving accounts payable to bi-monthly versus monthly. Motion by Richard Lehmkuhl to move accounts payable to the second Monday and the last business day of the month. Seconded by William Pollock. Motion carried.

Motion by Richard Lehmkuhl to approve a Cereal Malt Beverage license for Grandview Oil Company, located at 2134 330th Street. Seconded by William Pollock. Motion carried.

Motion by William Pollock to approve the Sac and Fox occupational license. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Motion carried.

Tax change orders 2021-53 and 2021-54 were approved and signed.

Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, gave an update on the courthouse fire alarm system. Boyles has contacted the vendor and will set up an inspection.

The Feb. 23, 2022 payroll was approved as follows: Motion by William Pollock. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Motion carried. General $84,497.28; Road & Bridge 15,502.50; Election 4,000.00; Technology 348.75; Appraiser 8,380.00; Noxious Weed 2,137.25; ACC 10,468.85; JJA Core 7,833.47; Reinvestment Grant 2,834.35; Services for Elderly 2,973.50; Solid Waste 6,068.21; Employee Ben FICA 8,903.41; Employee Ben KPERS 10,377.21; State Unemployed/Work Comp -134.23; Insurance -11,304.80 TOTAL $152,885.75

The commission discussed getting an attorney and engineer on retainer for wind energy purposes.

Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, discussed the phone line in the elevator.

Motion by William Pollock to adjourn. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 11:19 a.m. The next regular meeting will be held Tuesday, February 28, 2022, to approve month end claims.

Source:  By Joey May | Hiawatha World | www.hiawathaworldonline.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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