Solar has been well discussed
Solar first appeared on the May 2019 JPC agenda. Staff and county leaders researched solar in-depth. After 18 months of consideration, in Dec 2020 the late Judge Pfeffer circulated an initial draft of the 2020 Solar Draft Ordinance, that Mr. Larger based on the Kentucky Model Solar Ordinance.
At the solar workshop, during the June 2021 JPC meeting, the public was not allowed to participate in a discussion about solar. However, JPC commissioners did express concern that they had many unanswered questions about solar.
Before the July 2021 JPC meeting’s solar workshop, it was suggested that the JPC post a list of their questions on the City’s website, and let the public submit answers and exhibits that support that answer. The JPC rejected this proposal because they worried the submissions would not be under oath. (It is worth noting that they did accept written submission for the public meeting with a notarized oath that submission was truthful. Why was this acceptable in Nov but not July?
In the early spring a Stop-Solar letter to the editor, of the Ledge Independent, expressed concern that solar was being rushed. (This after 24 MONTHs had elapsed since solar was first discussed.)
In June, July, Sept, and Oct the Joint Planning Commission held “solar workshops”. At these meetings, there were no expert testimony and commissioners asked very few questions of their staff Mr. Larger and Clarke. In fact, the only time the before the Nov public meeting that Joint Panning Commission has acepted expert testimony was on their single trip to the Hillcrest solar farm near Mt. Orab OH.
In Nov 2021 Robert Roe, of WFTM, scheduled a 30-minute discussion of locating solar projects in Mason County. The pro-solar group Limestone Solar had representatives participate. Although WFTM extended an invitation via a personal phone call, the Stop-Solar group Citizens Voice of Mason County Inc. failed to show up for the discussion.
At the public meetings in Nov, the JPC commissioners again asked only a very few questions of those testifying.
Solar zoning has now been publicly discussed for 31 MONTHs. During that time, the Stop-Solar folks did all possible to avoid any venue where honest questions can be raised and well-regulated solar discussed.
Now as a JPC decision draws near, we hear cries of “Why the rush?” or we want a moratorium for more discussion.
It seems the Stop-Solar folks resist any chance to compare their claims to the publicly available evidence.
How long will Mason County allow them to inject F(ear) U(ncertainty) and D(oubt) and achieve their stated “Stop-Solar” goal by avoiding any open discussion?
We can not allow Stop-Solar folks to continue to make this the way Mason County faces our future.
Their attempts to delay, deflect and deny current trends do not serve Mason County well. There are significant real estate property taxes available to local tax districts. Our entire community will gain substantial ecological benefits as solar revenue reduces corn and soybean acreage and land being lost to rural housing developments.