Henry County Board postpones budget discussion

Mary Davidsaver
Henry County Courthouse clock tower

    The Henry County Board received their copies of the 2011 budget and without discussion voted to hold it over until the November meeting during their regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 12.

    Board members were encouraged to look at the budget and direct questions to the finance committee or staff personnel. Some questions may be cleared up before the next meeting. They were reminded that any item can be amended.

    "Don’t wait until budget night in November," urged chairman Tom Nicholson.

    Board member Jim King asked about interest rates on investments wondering if money markets were doing better than CD’s. He was told that with rates below one percent it would not do well to change anything and that the treasurer monitors funds to get the best rates; it’s an ongoing process.

    The planning and development committee presented Invenergy’s decommissioning agreement. In which the company promised to provide $25,000 per turbine by the twelfth year after the date the first turbine begins to generate electricity. That assurance will be adjusted in increments until a minimum of $35,000 per turbine is reached by the 24th year. The agreement also stated that the company will be responsible for any additional costs for restoration over salvage value.

    Board member Karen Urick, stating that she was not a member of the board at the time the original ordinance was passed made a motion to postpone a vote until the November meeting so she’d have more time to consider the agreement.

    In the discussion that followed, it was pointed out that the agreement was in line with the original ordinance and solidifies it. Board members and staff have done a lot of research and attended conferences relating to wind energy. The motion to postpone a vote failed. The vote to approve the decommissioning agreement passed with two abstentions.

    The board also approved a renewal of an AG-1 Special Use Permit 10-12 SU with Iberdrola for five years. There was one abstention.

    The health and social services committee recommended that the county sign a contract with Iberdola for the Spring Creek Wind Farm Project. The motion passed 23 to 1.

    With unanimous approval, the lease for the Hillcrest farm went to the highest bid of $298 per acre by Jason Minneart.

    The Transportation Committee presented a road upgrade and maintenance agreement with Invenergy for board approval.

    Board member Dennis Anderson asked Steve Brandau, county engineer, if he was comfortable with the agreement. Brandau indicated that he was. The agreement passed unanimously.

   The executive committee recommended that the board approve a proposed developer’s agreement between Henry County and Invenergy. The motion passed with 20 yes votes, two no votes and two abstentions.