The Saline County Board of Commissioners approved a county road haul agreement with EDF Renewables for the Milligan One wind project Oct. 1. 

The contract details maintenance responsibilities for both EDF and the county for county roads that are to be used during construction of the wind farm.  

This is the last step before EDF can submit a final conditional use permit for the project. 

During a citizens forum at the meeting, Sandra Koll of Wilber asked for clarification of the final CUP and how issuing of it is to proceed. She also requested further details on how the decommissioning plan is to be carried out.

Members of the board said they have additional information on the project. They have received the final permit process, but did not give further comments because of current litigation going on against the county, as brought forward by Marilyn Capek for a right-of-way request by EDF on her land. 

“They are here to receive information,” Saline County attorney Tad Eickman said. “If you want to continue to discuss concerns with them over the merits of the document, that’s fine, but there will be no further discussion. This is just a public forum.” 

Matt McClusky with Milligan One LLC distributed packets concerning wind energy’s impact on property taxes for the county.

Doris Ourecky, a representative of Women in Farm Economics, spoke in favor of the wind farm and said its benefits should not be ignored. 

Chris Krivohlavek with the Saline County Wind Association said residents with questions or concerns should speak with SCWA members, as they have many answers to questions being asked. 

Moving on from the citizens forum, the board approved a CUP with IEA Construction Inc. to build a temporary concrete batch plant for the Milligan One project.

Mark Donnarumma of IEA said once construction begins, there will be anywhere from 15 to 20 employees on site every day and hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

The lay down yard for the project, where concrete  for wind turbine foundations are to be mixed, spans 15 acres. Donnarumma said at the Sept. 17 Saline County Planning and Zoning Board meeting that he estimates only five acres would be used. 

In another matter, Dan Johnson, courthouse maintenance supervisor, updated the board on the old jail building garage project, saying there are now issues with the floor, where it had settled over time and created a hole. 

Johnson said he is looking into contracting someone to fill the space and estimated the project to cost $3,500 to $5,000.

Highway Superintendent Bruce Filipi then presented a right of way request from Windstream Nebraska LLC to add fiber-optic cables to a tower located between County Road 1800 and the Dorchester city limits. It was approved by the board. 

He also presented a transportation impact analysis completed by Milligan One LLC. It includes a detailed haul route, bridge and culvert evaluation and a road study among other items. It was approved by the board. 

Filipi also said funds from both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Nebraska Emergency Management Agency from the 2015 flooding disaster were reimbursed to the county, totaling $282, 874.79. 

The next Saline County Board of Commissioners meeting will be Oct. 15, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The meetings are open to the public. 

 hope@sewardindependent.com

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