Commissioners discuss solar farms

By Meladi Brewer
DailyAdvocate.com

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Board of Commissioners met Monday to discuss OSU Extension, Letter of Support, and the solar farms. Commissioners Matt Aultman, Mike Stegall, and Larry Holmes were present.

Taylor Dill, OSU Extension Educator, was present to update the commissioners about the work she had done at the OSU extension.

“This past month, I helped teach EMS/Firefighter training in Versailles. I had my monthly Ag breakfast. I also went to Versailles and taught their FFA chapter on corn and soybean development,” Dill said.

In addition to teaching others on agricultural safety and products, Dill has been busy planning for the next upcoming month and gave positive feedback for farmers regarding their research plots. So far the manure plot has been beating the nitrogen application fields.

“That’s pretty good news because with the price of fertilizer what it is now, those with manure access are going to save a lot of money in the next season,” Dill said.

Next the commissioners discussed a Letter of Support for the Capital Improvement Grant for the Village of Arcanum.

“This letter request has come to us from their Village Administrator, Bill Kessler, in Arcanum” Aultman said. “They’re working on a couple grant applications, and like any grant you need letters of support from public officials.”

The grant is in regards to the Arcanum Opera House in order to give upgrades to the brick streets located in downtown, as well as make improvements to Ivester Park and the community pool.

“We’re supporting these such projects because they need these such projects to enhance the amenities needed for community growth and development,” Aultman said.

Public attendee Gordon Miller inquired about the commissioners’ opinions regarding the solar panels being put in after he received a flyer. Aultman responded by stating they are in the information collecting stage and cannot comment on any area they do not know about.

“What we will share is we are still collecting information from where it is going to be, what the size of it is, information to us,” Aultman said. “Apex still has to file a formal application.”

Apex has done some leasing and prework within the county, but the company has not done any formal applications for the commissioners to act on as a board.

“We are getting a lot of information, and we are looking into Senate Bill 52 that was recently passed through the house and senate in Ohio,” Aultman said. “They changed the rules on how you interact with wind and solar companies.”

Within the next two months, Apex is planning on coming forward with the finalized project plan.

“They are planning to bring forward what I call a ‘near final’ at which point we will have a better idea of where they are going to put the panels,” Holmes said. “The 2,500 acres will become more like 18 to 1,500 acres.”

The Darke County Board of Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at the county administrative office located at 520 S. Broadway in Greenville. For more information, contact the commissioner’s office at 937-547-7370.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected]