Now is the Time for a Solar decision
On Dec 29, 2021, Joint Planning Commission attorney Michael Clarke said the evidence collected at the Nov 16 and 18, 2021 public meeting will not be compiled in time for the regularly scheduled Jan 5, 2022 meeting. He expects the JPC members will receive it before a Feb meeting. Stated another way 48 days was not enough time for our officials to compile the official record of approximately 10 hours of public hearing. JPC deliberation will have been delayed by 76 days if instead, they are able to meet at their 2/2/22 regularly scheduled meeting.
This delay in documenting the public hearings, is indicative of why solar will has already been under discussion for over 1,000 days. During this time our city/county officials have researched solar, the JPC has conducted several “workshops”, visited a solar energy system in Ohio, and held two well-attended meetings for public comment. In addition, three companies, interested in developing Mason County’s solar energy, held meetings to answer the public’s questions about their proposed developments. One even established a local office earlier in 2021.
Community members have established both pro-solar and anti-solar groups. In 2021, both groups have robustly supported their position with among other things, Facebook groups, letters to the editor, countywide mailings, parade floats, along with vehicle and yard signs. In addition, the pro-solar group invited the stop-solar group to a 30-minute discussion on WFTM. Sadly the stop solar group did not show up for that open discussion.
It is time for a decision. Over 30 years of operation, 6,000 acres of well-regulated solar will (at 2019 tax rates) contribute $14 million additional real-estate property tax to our local tax districts.
By replacing cash grain with sod plus stormwater control structures, solar will reduce topsoil loss and ag chemical pollution, as well the risk of flash floods downstream. In addition during construction solar will provide hundreds of skilled jobs. Even during the operation phase, solar will require more labor than current ag enterprises.
Since 1960 Mason County has lost over 1,400 people. A drive through our rural areas shows that since 1960 there has been a dramatic conversion of farmland into personal housing, as well as commercial buildings,. Utility-Scale Solar provides an economic basis to stop this urban-type incursion into rural areas.
Citizens Voice of Mason County Inc. has so far accomplished the goal their signs state. They have stopped solar regulation for over 1,000 days. When we examine their F(ear) U(certainity) and D(oubt) claims, we find only a few with merit. Everyone agrees that solar should be screened from occupied buildings and during construction, noise and road traffic will increase.
Delays in adopting appropriate solar regulations increase the risk that Mason County will never benefit from solar. Each electric transmission line passed through many locales. Many of which actively pursue a vibrant “green” economy. As other locales fill the transmission lines that pass through Mason County, our solar opportunity will be lost.
If you believe solar provides a path to a vibrant “green” economy, please let your officials know. If not then please propose an alternative that can do as much for our ecological and financial future. But in any case, I hope you will use your voice to call for the JPC to meet and make a final recommendation to the City Council and County Fiscal Court for a solar regulation.
Maysville Mason County Planning Commission Members
|Tim Teegarden (City)||Chairpersonemail@example.com|
|Tom Coe (County)||Commission Memberfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|John Hutchings (City)||Commission Memberemail@example.com|
|Annette Walters (County)||Commission Memberfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Peggy Frame (County)||Commission Member||Peggytony1900@gmail.com|
|Lesley Myers (City)||Commission Memberemail@example.com|
|Xandy Stewart (City)||Commission Memberfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|David Reed (County)||Commission Memberemail@example.com|
|George Larger||Planning & Zoning Administratorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Michael Clarke||Planning Commission Attorneyemail@example.com|
Mason County Fiscal Court Members
|Owen J. McNeill||Judge Executivefirstname.lastname@example.org||(606)564-6706|
Maysville City Commission Members
|Debra L. Cotterill||Mayoremail@example.com||606-564-9419|
|Victor McKay||Mayor Pro Temfirstname.lastname@example.org||606-584-0449|
|Matt Wallingford||City Manageremail@example.com||606-564-2521|