Commissioners continue wind farm discussion
Monday, February 23, 2009 9:31 PM
Montgomery County commissioners decided Monday to delay a decision that could help them with a future project.
T.H. Umbaugh & Associates sent a proposal to commissioners offering a variety of consulting services concerning Montgomery County wind farms, county Attorney Monty Harris said.
"My take on it is, it's general in nature and a "not-to-exceed" contract," commissioner President Harry Siamas said. "I think we ought to get it out on the table. (The wind farm ordinance) has been worked so much it needs serious consideration."
Umbaugh charges different prices for the services used, Umbaugh CPA and Partner Todd Samuelson said during a previous meeting. Commissioners have considered using consulting services to receive advice "on how best to structure the wind farm," Siamas said.
"I personally feel we need some advice - expertise - that we don't possess," Siamas said. "My recollection is we can pass these - advisement and attorney fees - as a cost of the project."
Two other consulting firms have been used in for the development of wind farms, Siamas said.
"They (a consulting company) could be beneficial to us, but we don't want to be limited," Commissioner Vice President Phil Bane said. "I'd like to get this thing rolling so we can get it on the books."
Commissioners plan to discuss the proposal further at the next meeting, 4 p.m. March 9 at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.
"Something that can cost us money or make us money in the long run should be researched thoroughly, Commissioner Terry Hockersmith said.
In other business, commissioners:
- Took under advisement engineering contracts for the highway department per the request of county Highway Department Director Steve Yeager. "Steve needs technical advice that we don't have in house," Siamas said. "I think maybe at the next budget time we look at adding a line item for this item."
- Approved claims presented by Auditor Michelle Cash
- Learned from Cash that there is an excess in the county general fund that will be transferred to a rainy day fund. "The laws are pretty specific on how to use the money in a rainy day fund."
- Postponed deciding PERF and health insurance benefits for Coroner David Hunt. County Attorney Monty Harris recommended consulting the council about a resolution allowing elected officials to receive benefits from the county.
- Signed application letters from Department of Transportation regarding bridges 237 and 126. Siamas said commissioners are not committing to the federal projects but are interested in knowing how much federal aid will be provided. "Sometimes federal projects cost the county more than what they actually help," Saimas said.
- Approved a 2009 agreement with Animal Welfare League for $45,000
- Appointed Don Hallet and Earlene Garrard to the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals
- Heard from Fire Safety Company owner Derek Johnson, who offered fire extinguisher, suppression system and exit lighting services. Commissioners agreed to discuss the presented information and a bidding system for the named services at the next meeting
- Approved a contract with AT&T and Centrex for the county phone system. The current agreement expires Wednesday, Siamas said. The new contract will cost $2,029.96 per month and last one year, Siamas said.
"(Commissioner secretary) Lori (Dossett) said we'd save $1,700 per month," Saimas said. "I think she said this was the best deal we can get right now."