NAPOLEON – A representative of two groups advocating for property rights and green energy visited with Henry County commissioners here Thursday morning.
Former Paulding County Commissioner Tony Zartman – noting that he represents the Land and Liberty Coalition, and the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum – met with commissioners during their regular session. He touted not only property rights, but what he considers the positive impact of wind and solar projects for landowners and counties.
In Paulding County’s case, he said tax revenues from the various wind farms there have proved beneficial for county government and local schools. He described county government as nearly broke in 2009 when wind farms emerged there, but said revenues from those operations since then have allowed officials to regain employees and give them raises while schools have reduced their student/teacher ratio.
“We were really concerned how we were going to make payroll,” recalled Zartman of the late 2010s, adding that revenues from the wind farms have “made a huge difference for us.”
Wind and solar farms are generally subsidized through tax credits that rely on taxpayer dollars.
Zartman noted the trend toward green energy projects such as wind and solar, saying Ohio EPA is not going allow any more coal-fired plants or nuclear facilities. He said Paulding County landowners are “fighting over the opportunity” to lease their property for wind farms.
While Henry County has no wind farms, some companies have made inquiries about establishing solar fields there.
Henry County Commissioner Bob Hastedt noted that leasing land for wind or solar has “got to be up to individual landowner.” Indeed, Zartman emphasized this point as no “imminent domain” takings – allowing a property to be used for a public governmental purpose – is part of the green energy siting process in Ohio.
Also Thursday, commissioners met with Nick Rettig, county planning director; Jon Lindsay of the county health department; and Shannon Jones, director of the county’s job and family services office, to discuss grants for improving failing home septic treatment systems.
According to Rettig, the county has received a $150,000 state grant this year for improvements along with $150,000 in 2023. Residents may qualify for a 50%, 80% or 100% grant to cover the cost of septic system improvements, according to Rettig.
They can contact Jones at the job and family services office (419-592-0946) to determine the level of assistance available.
Rettig noted that the program has used some $235,000 in grant funds during the last four years.
In other business Thursday, commissioners:
• approved a resolution closing the county landfill to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays to process tires there. The public will still be able to use the facility on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, but Tuesday and Thursday will be utilized to shred tires, which are being processed at record levels. (A story about this appeared in Thursday’s Crescent-News.)
• met in executive session to discuss collective bargaining, but took no action.
• passed a resolution rescinding a resolution and updating the cost for roof replacements at the Hahn Center ($51,325) and the Henry County Transportation Network ($327,932).
• approved a resolution making budget adjustments.
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