Wind project tops board discussion

Seneca County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday morning for more heated discussions on planned wind projects.

Board president Mike Kerschner said under the pilot program for the wind projects that was approved in October 2011, the county is guaranteed $9,000 per mega watt with a life span of up to 20-30 years.

“I want to know how much money we would be leaving on the table,” Kerschner said. “I just can’t logically hand over money at a fixed rate from 2011 for the next 30 years.”

In public comment, county resident Jim Feasel said he had done research and discovered the county commissioners have the power to rescind the alternative energy zone.

“It is clear now that you have full power to refuse the Republic and Seneca wind projects,” Feasel said. “The clock has been rolled back.”

Commissioner Shayne Thomas said he stands behind a legal opinion that he and the other commissioners agreed to share with the audience. In that statement from Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine, it states even if the commissioners revoked the resolution that approved designating Seneca County as an alternative energy zone, any applications made prior to that revocation still will be in place.

A special session is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 30 for a hearing on the Blanchard River Stream Enhancement project.

Commissioners also approved a supplemental appropriation of $121,545 from the General Fund to the Capital Projects Fund. These funds are to be used to replace two large sections of the Seneca County Jail roof, which had been discussed Aug. 13.

The commissioners also agreed to a $71,000 supplemental appropriation from a request from Seneca County Juvenile and Probate Courts Tuesday for furniture, fixtures and equipment.

These purchases were possible as the cost for the annex renovation was $438,000, less than the $650,000 budget.

County Administrator Stacy Wilson said the money was left in the budget to cover the request.

Commissioners entered into executive session to discuss the acquisition of property. No action was taken.

In other business, the board:

• Approved a $14,112 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund on behalf of Seneca County Juvenile and Probate Court which funds three-percent raises for employees that had not been added to the 2018 budget.

• Approved a $1,975 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for public employee retirements.

• Approved a $204 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for Medicare costs.

• Approved a $50,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for a loan payment on the Seneca County Justice Center.

• Approved a $3,077 appropriation adjustment within the public assistance budget which was taken from the contract services account and moved to the transfers out account.

• Approved a $10,000 supplemental appropriation within the public assistance budget from the contract services account to the advertising and printing account.

• Approved a $5,000 supplemental appropriation to the Workforce Investment Act Fund which is to help fund the third Seneca County Manufacturing Showcase.

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