KOSCIUSKO — Assistant Planning Director Matt Sandy presented an ordinance amendment related to commercial solar energy farms at the Kosciusko Commissioners meeting held Tuesday, May 28.
Sandy said there are some changes to the ordinance making it more restrictive at this point, with the idea that it could be reviewed and revised in the future if deemed necessary.
The proposed changes only allow a commercial solar energy system farm in a heavy industrial zone if an exception is received. If the exception is granted, there are 14 pages of guidelines to be followed, including sections on setbacks, waste management, vibrations, aesthetics, lighting and decommissioning plans.
After review and discussion by the Area Planning Commission, Sandy said, they did move to recommend approval as presented, with the recommendation that the commissioners consider establishing a study committee for further analysis of commercial solar farms.
“We’re under a moratorium currently,” said Sandy. “If this is passed, that would trump the moratorium and this goes into effect. The moratorium is in effect until June 16.”
Commissioner President Cary Groninger clarified this is strictly related to commercial solar farms and will not affect schools and homes. The commercial solar farm is described as a solar facility whose primary purpose is to collect, store, convert and distribute solar energy to utility companies.
“The farmer who has his own supplements, schools putting up new panels, that’s all still allowed,” Sandy confirmed.
The amended ordinance was approved by commissioners.
County Highway Superintendent Scott Tilden recommended accepting bids from Phend & Brown, Milford, for two county projects.
The first bid, in the amount of $1,186,352.40, is for the CR 800W project, from US 30 to SR 19. The second bid, in the amount of $420,348.76, is for the CR 1000W project, from CR 700S to CR 1000S. Commissioners accepted both recommendations. Tilden said the contract documents show the projects starting in early August and ending in mid-November.
Commissioners also approved a speed limit ordinance presented by Tilden. This is for CR 800N, between CR 500E and Syracuse-Webster Road. The ordinance will reduce the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph.
County Administrator Marsha McSherry submitted three items: A change order from Clint Davis Construction, Leesburg, in the amount of $11,507.65 was approved. This is for ceiling and wall insulation at the coroner’s building; an Area Planning Commission office space remodel bid from Workspace Solutions, Fort Wayne, was approved; Justice Building restructuring of CASA office, conference room and storage area bid for $10,518.38 from Workspace Solutions was approved.
- Commissioners approved a 2020 INDOT application for capital and operating grant presented by Kosciusko Area Bus Service General Manager Amanda Landis.
- A request by County Recorder Joetta Mitchell for approval of a new redaction agreement with the software company CSI was approved.
- Commissioners approved Tilden’s request to sign right-of-way parcel documents.
- County Auditor Michelle Puckett’s request for approval of an SRI contract related to annual tax sales was approved.
- According to County Attorney Chad Miner, the Tippy-Chapman Regional Sewer District Indiana Department of Environmental Management meeting will be held from 6-9 p.m. June 26 at the North Webster Community Center.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 11.