Warren County commissioners, the county planning and zoning administrator and the county counselor have all been approached by companies in the solar and wind energy industry, according to information recently released by the county.
In response to questions he has received from the public, Presiding Commissioner Joe Gildehaus confirmed that entities have contacted him.
“Some of us had an initial informational meeting with industry representatives, but absolutely no commitment has been made,” Gildehaus said. “In fact, the county commission has not officially discussed solar or wind energy as of yet.”
County Counselor Mark Vincent explained that for a solar or wind energy project to be approved, the initial step would be the same as any other request to amend the county’s zoning order.
Proposed regulations would be drafted, which would be submitted to the planning and zoning commission. The planning and zoning commission would review the proposed regulations and then conduct a public hearing, at which anyone would have the right to state their opinion on the regulations.
Thereafter, the planning and zoning commission would make its recommendation and forward the proposed regulations to the Warren County Commission. The county commission would hold an additional public hearing, at which citizens would once again have the right to testify.
Only after the conclusion of the second public hearing would the county commission take action on any proposal.
Gildehaus said utility companies can discuss matters privately with property owners, but the county commission as a governing board can only address the matter in public.