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County Board Weighs Solar/Wind; Learns how Pre Trial Fairness Act Affecting Coffers

With Dustin Harmon of Bellwether Advantage corralling things, the White County Board met with it’s most expediated gathering in months.  It took the board just under 40 minutes to get through business Wednesday night.  Most of the time was spent discussing making changes to the ordinance regulating commercial solar farms and then specifically replacing the decommissioning bond with a letter of credit for Boomtown Solar/Invenergy.  The board ended up tabling the ordinance changes after giving Harmon direction on drafting actual changes on the ordinance, namely to give it more teeth.  The replacement of the decommissioning bond to a letter of credit passed with Ken Usery voting no.

It appears the financial effect of the Pre Trial Fairness Act is beginning to be felt according to information provided by Circuit Clerk Kelly Fulkerson.

“I think this has to do with Pre Trial Fairness Act, but I started watching our monthly voucher reports showing what our income and revenue is.  In the last two months, we’ve gone down about $30,000 a month in revenue and I really feel like it has to do with the PTFA because we no longer have bond.  I didn’t think it was going to hit us this fast.  In October, we collected almost $82,000.  September 19th I believe is when the PTFA went into effect and we still collected the normal amount, but when I compared it to what it was this time last year, we’re $30,000 down in November and the same amount down in December.  I just wanted to make the board aware that’s not something we’re not collecting because ‘we’re not collecting’…it’s most likely it’s bond fees and money we’re not getting.”

Also Wednesday night, Brent Floyd was appointed to the White County Housing Authority Board for a term retroactive to August 1st of last year and for the following 4 years.

Amanda Cannon was also reappointed to the Egyptian Health Department Board beginning January 31st.

Highway Engineer Brian Ray provided perspective for folks regarding taking care of winter roads compared to the IDOT outfit out of Enfield.

“They’ve got 370 lane miles of road, 12 trucks, 19 employees, and use 1500 to 2000 tons of salt to clear snow off roads.  If you break that down, that’s basically a truck for every 28 lane miles to plow snow from.  We have 3 employees, 3 trucks, 328 lane miles so we have 1 truck for 109 lane miles.  The math doesn’t work.  You know, we could work 24 hours a day and not do as good of a job as IDOT does.  I just want you, the board to have that information, so that when you’re hit up somewhere and people are unhappy, you can say, ‘listen, these guys are doing the best they can with what they have to work with’”.

The White County Board adjourned just before 7:40pm and will next meet February 21st.

    January 18, 2024 at 4:51 pm

    What type of letter of credit ? Or did we just get screwed ? They moved very fast !

  2. OO Buckshot
    OO Buckshot
    January 20, 2024 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you Ken Usery for standing your ground. To bad other board members don’t have their eyes open to the tactics of “big business”.I truly hope my perdiction is null.


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