County Plan Director Ty Adley told the commissioners the main reason for making revisions to the current ordinance is due to the fact that companies are actively working in Marshall County to secure property for a solar farm and the current ordinance does not that type of large scale solar operation.
During his presentation Adley spoke of concerns including noise, property value, agricultural preservation and the biggest issue the cost of decommissioning.
The County Commissioners were very concerned on whose responsibility the decommissioning and clean-up would be. They also questioned restoring the land back to agricultural value could be costly.
Adley said bonding is included and would require a review every three years.
During the public hearing Deb VanDeMark, who owns fairground in Burr Oak said she has they have been approached by two companies to lease her land. She said several of her neighbors have already agreed to a lease for their farm land. She and commissioner Kevin Overmyer questioned the economic development if the energy isn’t staying here. She also said they have requested tax abatement for other projects.
Mike Miley, Insurance consultant for the county recommended speaking to a bonding agent about the bonding process proposed in the ordinance.
The commissioners were apprehensive on moving forward with the ordinance amendment but after discussion unanimously passed it on first reading, knowing that additional changes will be made to it prior to its second and or third reading.