Earlier this month Marshall County Council member Tim Harman commented during their meeting that the commissioners had held a public hearing on the solar ordinance and there was no action taken. His understanding was that the current ordinance presented by the Marshall County Plan Commission would become enforced 90 days after, without commissioner action. 

Harman said, “I know there are good folks on both sides of the issue.  It has been argued you can make a case for solar, or you could make a case against solar.  I just think people in the county are not for it and I think that is where we need to stand.”

Councilman Harman made a motion to urge the commissioners to enact a two-year moratorium on battery storage and solar farms.  His motion was seconded by Adam Faulstich.  The council unanimously approved the motion.     

During yesterday’s (2/19) County Commissioner meeting, Commissioner President Stan Klotz commented that with no action taken on the second reading of the solar farm ordinance at their February 5th meeting so if no action is taken, in 90 days the new ordinance will automatically take effect. 

Klotz said he has some real concerns on property values and with the presidential election this fall that could remove the subsidies for solar.  He also said he didn’t think there was anything in the ordinance to protect landowners that guarantees these companies will be responsible for their project.  Klotz said, “If there’s a failure, it all falls back on us and I just don’t understand what’s so unreasonable about that.”  He then made a motion to put an irreversible moratorium on solar until May 2025.  It died for lack of a second. 

County Attorney Jim Clevenger said the attorney for Tamarack Solar spoke to him after the last commissioner’s meeting.  They are ready to apply for a permit, but they need a Road Use Agreement and a Decommissioning Agreement.  The attorney said they have submitted a sample Road Use Agreement and the Decommissioning Agreement months ago but the commissioners told him to “sit on it.” 

The County Attorney and Highway Superintendent have discussed the Road Use Agreement and have some suggestions to present to the commissioners for consideration.  Clevenger has also discussed the Decommissioning Agreement with Ty Adley, the County Plan Director and can present their recommendations. 

The County Attorney said these companies would have to provide a “pretty significant bond” as a security if the project and solar panels don’t get used.