County Attorney’s Office Encourages Supervisors to “Pump the Brakes” on Ordinance

The Henry County Supervisors met on Thursday morning in a public meeting in which many members of the public joined. First on the agenda was a monthly department head meeting, which was then followed by a discussion over the Wind Energy Ordinance.

The supervisors agreed that they would like to see changes to the ordinance. It must be noted that these changes are by no means final. Board Chair Moeller mentioned how they are listening to the citizens, and they know their concerns.

It was spelled out that if the ordinance is approved by the Henry County Supervisors, this allows a company to build a wind farm if they receive the permits. For the supervisors to approve this, the law states that they must have at least one public hearing and 3 readings of the ordinance. To receive the permits, they must comply with the ordinance. Again, this ordinance is not final, it is currently a work in progress.

Board Chair Moeller mentioned that after speaking with the County Attorney’s Office, they are going to slow this process down. They are going to go over this with a fine-tooth comb and mull over all of the emails, texts, calls, messages, etc. Planning and Zoning Director, Joe Buffington is going to look over all of this and send the letters to the P&Z for them to investigate.

A citizen suggested that the supervisors and the planning and zoning need to look at the ordinance as a whole, rather than just a specific portion. A supervisor agreed with this, and it sounds as if the supervisors will take this advice.

When asked how penalties are enforced if a company does not comply with the ordinance, Joe Buffington answered. He said that it is situation dependent. As the Planning and Zoning Director, he would speak with the party to tell them their faults and give them a deadline to fix them. If they were not fixed, the County Attorney’s Office would get involved.

The Planning and Zoning Commission meeting for next Tuesday, March 12th, has been postponed at this moment after a recommendation from the County Attorney’s Office. Once details are known for the next meeting, it will be posted.