Phillips County Commissioners prepare for possibility of wind farms
November 3, 2021
While there hasn’t been a permit request from a wind farm just yet, the Phillips County Commissioners are preparing for the possibility that one may come. In a recent meeting, the Phillips County Commissioners adopted resolution 2021-016 to authorize a six-month moratorium on the processing of permits related to the construction of any wind farm facility in the county.
Commissioner Chairman Terry Hofmeister said several years ago, former County Commissioners worked to put policies and guidelines in place to regulate wind farm facilities in Phillips County, however, those documents were never officially put in place. That said, before the moratorium, there wouldn’t have been anything in place should a permit application been submitted.
“So shame on us, more or less,” Hofmeister said in a conversation early this week.
The moratorium will give the local Commissioners six months to review documents already developed by former elected officials as well as time to look at what neighboring counties have already in place.
“We can extended it or take it away at any time,” Hofmeister said, adding that he thinks the Commissioners will have something ready before the six month mark. “We are getting closer.”
Hofmeister said Phillips County is one of few in northeast Colorado who has yet to have a wind farm site. While he wouldn’t express his interest one way or another, he said it is vital that Phillips County have regulations in place should there be interest.
He also clarified that there has not yet been any official interest for a wind farm at the County level yet, there has been some rumblings about one. “Nothing official yet,” Hofmeister said. Hofmeister said Sedgwick County is in the same position and is also doing due diligence before proceeding with any formal requests are submitted.
The resolution passed by unanimous vote from the Commissioner trio of Gerald Roberts, Tom Timm and Hofmeister. As it is, it will stand through the end of April 2022.
Over the past month, the Commissioners granted approval for the purchase of several new pieces of equipment, one with the use of American Recovery Plan Act funds. The County purchased a 2021 John Deere 4044R tractor from 21st Century Equipment for $39,370. The Commissioners also voted to approve the purchase of two snow pusher attachments from Central Plains Equipment for $2,995, also with the use of American Recovery Plan Act funds. The machine and attachments will be used in the County’s Maintenance department.
A second large-equipment purchase was approved for the County’s Road and Bridge Department. At the request of Road and Bridge Manager Mike Salyards, the County granted permission for the purchase of a 2022 Caterpillar 140LVR grader for $270,140 less $54,000 for trading in a 2004 Caterpillar 140H. Funds for the new grader will come from the Road and Bridge department’s budget.
Salyards also requested the purchase of a 2023 Peterbilt 389 tractor for $145,170, which was approved. Funds for the new tractor will also come from the Road and Bridge budget.
In other business the Commissioners:
• Agreed to allow Gary Kumm 10 free loads at the County Landfill for the clean-up of his property following a house fire;
• Accepted a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission to approve the subdivision exemption for Kathleen Olofson for the sale of approximately 13.7 acres located in the SE4 of Section 34-T9N-R45W to a buyer to be determined;
• Approved the purchase of a printer for $1,370, a scanner for $374 and a portable printer for $397 from Printers’ Paper and More for the Veteran’s Service Officer;
• Approved a request from Pheasants Forever to sell alcohol at the annual banquet at the Phillips County Event Center in November;
• Accepted a contract with Great Copier Service for the Assessor and Treasurer offices in the amount of .127 cents per copy;
• Agreed to provide 50 loads of material from the Ward Pit to the City of Holyoke for the construction of a new fire hall;
• Appointed tory Kinoshita to the Communications Board as the new EMS Director at Melissa Memorial Hospital.