Please vote for folks open to new ideas, Phil Day, Chris O’Hearn, and Paul-Jean Cokonhougher
Mason County’s harvested row crop acres increased from 39,820 in 1992 to 55,889 in 2017. Local farmers increased their corn and soybean acreage to compensate for lost dairy and tobacco income.
Mason County land can not support current row crop acreage for many years. Even with best practices, Mason County is losing 733,131 Tons of topsoil each year. Soil erosion silently steals our land’s ability to support Mason County’s citizens.
Agricultural chemicals applied to these additional row crop acres contaminate local watersheds and endanger our health.
Even with the extra soil erosion and pollution, in 2022 dollars, Mason County’s agricultural income dropped from when dairy and tobacco made significant contributions
Most local government services are paid for by real estate taxes. As rural land generates less income, its assessed value must drop. Until 2003 Mason County’s tax base grew faster than inflation, and new services were possible. Tax base growth slowed until 2011 and has fallen dramatically since.
All of these issues, plus the loss of several large industrial employers, help explain why Mason County’s population is declining and aging.
Our county’s future depends on our ability to consider new and better alternatives.
Well-regulated large-scale solar is only one of the many possible ways to improve Mason County’s future. However, large-scale solar:
- reduces soil erosion and chemical pollution in our watersheds,
- makes very low demand on public services
- Dramatically increase local tax revenue (6,000 acres of large-scale solar that will pay an extra half million dollars in real estate property taxes each year. )
- Kentucky and Mason County fund reclamation by requiring the developer to post a bond able to pay for complete decommissioning before the project can break ground.
The question facing you when you vote is: what future do you want for Mason County in 30 years? Current farming practices will leave little topsoil or tax base in 30 years. On the other hand, 6,000 acres of large-scale solar for 30 years means local tax districts will receive over $15 million of tax money from outside our county.
Please vote for Phil Day, Chris O’Hearn, and Paul-Jean Cokonhougher when you cast your vote for county commissioners. Each is willing to consider how to regulate this new opportunity to support Mason County’s future.
Their opponents have shown they will not consider if a new opportunity can alter our county’s current trends.
.Your decision will help set the county’s future course.