The topic of wind farms again controlled much of the discussion at the Montgomery County Commissioners’ meeting on Monday morning. The commissioners approved an ordinance, in 3-0 vote, that would amend the noise regulation of wind energy conversion systems.
It would lower the amount of noise allowed from 60 decibels down to 50 decibels. Noise buffers for participating landowners would be 1,000 feet or 110 percent of the height of the tower from the nearest primary structure.
Non-participating landowners with more than five acres would have buffers of 110 percent of the height of the tower or 1,400 feet from the primary structure. Non-participating landowners with five acres or less have a buffer of 1,500 feet from the property line or 110 percent of the tower height.
Commissioner Jim Fulwider said the ordinance was an improvement from what the county had back in 2009.
“This amendment is an amendment to what’s already out there, and it’s taking it in the direction to the 50 decibels instead of higher,” he said. “I don’t see how it’s not a step in the right direction.”
Commissioner John Frey said he thought it was premature to vote on the ordinance until the county’s comprehensive plan is completed, but he said the ordinance was an improvement.
Dan Taylor, county attorney, said this ordinance is just about the regulation of noise, but the issue that everyone talks about is land use which the county cannot control without zoning.
The commissioners also approved ordinances that would establish a fund for the probation department and amend the county’s employee handbook in regard to part-time holiday pay and FMLA requirements.
In their new business, they approved the issuance of lease rental bonds to the Redevelopment Authority for a sewer project, approved Wellbrooke’s request to use the courthouse parking lot to offer free lunch on Sept. 26 and approve a Ricoh Copier lease for the prosecutor’s office.
The commissioner also had the first reading on a group of ordinances that would create a number of funds for grants received by the probation department and the courts.
•Veteran Court-Problem-Solving Court Grant- $10,000
•Drug Court-Problem-Solving Court Grant- $10,000
•Veterans Treatment Court Grant- $86,680
•Drug Free Montgomery County Coalition/ Local Coordinating Council Grant- $12,100
They also had the first hearing on ordinances that would codify the county’s investment policy and amend private sewage disposal as recommended by Amber Reed, Montgomery County Health Department administrator.
Commissioner Frey also encouraged people to participate in a survey for Wabash Heartland Innovation Network that has been awarded $39 million by the Lilly Foundation. The fund will be used on projects that increase education, vitality and connectivity.
In order to gauge priorities in those areas, WHIN is asking residents of the 10-county region to fill out a place-making survey. The responses will help guide the selection of projects.
The survey can be found at the following link:
https://purdue.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0Gjswp4sLhiheCh
The commissioners will vote on these ordinances at their next meeting on July 23.
Minutes from this meeting will be published in a Monday edition of The Paper after they are made available.