County Commissioners hear concerns, talk insurance
Two area residents voiced concerns about the incoming wind farm projects at Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners.
Troy McCormick of Hoskins, grabbed everyone's attention as he told the board he was looking to put a nuclear waste dump on his property. After a good laugh, he went on to explain his real reason for coming before the board, and that was to discuss the construction of wind farms in Wayne County.
He cited numerous sources and studies when discussing the ill effects of the farms, with everything from infra-sound that is detrimental to livestock to the difficulty of flying and landing aircraft for emergencies near a wind farm. Health concerns and property depreciation were also topics he touched on.
A second Wayne County resident brought forth more concerns with the wind turbines, complete with his own experience with a windmill he wanted to buy to power an irrigation pivot on his ground.
Everything from costs and subsidies to the physics and environmental effects on wind patterns and the water cycle was brought up.
In both instances the board of commissioners explained how without zoning, the hands of the board members are nearly completely tied.
Road haul agreements are going out to each of the prospective companies detailing what the load limits and drive way setbacks are. Trenched wire depth requirements and decommissioning procedures are also outlined.
The board agreed a town hall meeting of some sort will be set up for all sides to voice concerns in the near future. They will also be meeting with a zoning official to see what steps would need to be taken if they decide to put zoning in place.
In conjunction with the wind farms, Highway Superintendent Mark Casey discussed a meeting between Holt County and the commissioners regarding how they handled them.
In other news, the commissioners heard an insurance pitch from United Health Care, the company currently used.
Currently, Wayne County is one of 13 counties in Nebraska who cover 100 percent of the employees' insurance but due to budget trimming, that may not be an option any longer.
There were several options presented to the board with varying coverage, deductible amounts and employee costs. To allow for additional presentations, the board recessed the meeting Tuesday and continued Wednesday morning.. They will have several months to discuss as renewal isn't until September.
The next meeting of the commissioners will take place on Wednesday July 5, adjusted for the holiday.
Prior to the meeting, high school art teacher Amy Jackson and commissioner Randy Larson met in the courthouse lobby to present new artwork that is now hung above the 48-state flag. The process started a year ago when a Holt County resident visited the board and told them about her goal to get the phrase "In God We Trust" back into the courthouses across the state.
After giving it some thought and discussing how to go about it, the decision to commission Jackson to design a piece that fit inside a shadow box built by Larson was reached. The colors used in the art piece match those of fringe edging the 48-state flag below it. Larson matched the shadow box to the one the flag hangs in.
"She did a tremendous job," Larson said of the artwork. "The colors make it look like they go together. It looks like it belongs there."