Commissioners approve solar,wind policies


By Meladi Brewer

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Commissioners met Thursday to discuss solar and wind policies, and opioid committees. Commissioners Matt Aultman, Mike Stegall, and Larry Holmes were present.

The commissioners passed a resolution to establish policies and procedures for the development of certain solar and wind facilities in the future. Senate Bill 52 enables the county commissioners to restrict location and size of certain solar and wind facilities in the future.

This resolution and S.B. 52 not only gives commissioners the ability to intervene, but it will also help the commissioners identify some of the minimum standards that are looked for when large solar or wind facilities come into the county.

“This is a step to give us the ability to respond as projects come forward,” Holmes said. “This really applies for projects from this date forward, and it isn’t something we could hold Painter Creek [Solar Project] to.”

He said the Painter Creek Solar Project is on it’s own path and is a separate topic from the policies the commissioners are allowed to put in place in the future.

“I would just like to add that my two colleagues here along with myself have put a lot of time and effort into this, and I want to commend these two as they are going to be dealing with this more than I will since this is my last year,” Stegall said. “I am very proud of the work that was put into this.”

The commissioners discussed a meeting Aultman and Holmes attended pertaining to the opioid settlement. This meeting was to start the organization process as funds can come as early as the spring.

“The funds will be for the county, but the organization this works with will be coming a little later,” Holmes said.

“Basic structure is, there is a county representative, a municipal representative, and a township representative, so last we set up the resolution of appointing folks to that board,” Aultman said.

Another meeting has been set up for March 30 from 10 a.m. to noon, but until then, they are trying to line up a legal council to enlighten them on the organization and rules.

“To get nine county prosecutors to come in and give an opinion they all have to agree upon, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” Aultman said. “We are looking at outside counsel to give some guidance so that the nine prosecutors can say yeah we’re good with that.”

Discussion about the format of the meeting was brought up, but Aultman stated since he and Holmes were in attendance, it would be considered a public hearing to them.

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

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