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Fiscal Court approves new solar rules


Newsroom Coordinator

The Meade County Fiscal Court convened on May 11 for their regular monthly meeting. There, they voted to approve the updated solar ordinance for the county, establishing what rules and regulations must be followed by potential solar developers.

The solar ordinance has been an ongoing point of discussion for the Court and the community for several months. The Court repealed the county’s original solar ordinance in March, conveying feelings that it may not be restrictive enough. Since then, dialogue between energy companies, the Court, and the public have been ongoing.

At this month’s meeting, representatives for both NextEra Energy and Community Energy, two companies with developing solar projects in the area, were in attendance and showed their support for the updated ordinance.

The new solar ordinance puts setbacks at 50 feet from property lines, 250 feet from any residential structure, and limits the total acreage to 1,200. Magistrate Billy Sipes said that the maximum acreage can always be raised, but he would prefer to see how the current projects in the county develop and then reassess than number rather than starting it out higher.

No one from the public disagreed with the proposed changes during the public session. One person spoke to thank the Court for all the work they had done on the ordinance behind the scenes.

Ultimately, the Court voted unanimously to approve the new ordinance.

In other business, the Meade County Fiscal Court:

­­­– Voted unanimously to approve minutes from the previous meetings.

– Voted unanimously to approve the reappointment of Wesley Prather and Alan Stivers to four-year terms on the Meade County Water District Board.

– Proclaimed May 16-22 as Emergency Medical Service Week.

– Approved the first reading of the 2021-2022 budget. The second reading will be potentially proved at the June 8 regular meeting.

– Accepted the resignation of Mike Wise as EMS Director and Dr. Eric Yazel as EMS Medical Director.