Biomass Rezoning Minutes, County Commission, 9 June 2009

In the message from Prof. Manning, he says
I did address the county commission on this topic over a year ago – in a public forum at a scheduled meeting.
He provided no date nor link, but since this is the only Commission meeting minutes for which I can find his name, I’m guessing this is the one he meant. I’ve quoted here the relevant item, and I’ve added paragraph breaks to it to make finding individual speakers’ names easier. See also the VDT writeup. I would like to ask people, especially academics, who want to cite sources to actually cite them, not allude to them by some vague description.


Regular Session
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Chairman Ashley Paulk
Vice Chairperson Joyce E. Evans
Commissioner Richard C. Lee
Commissioner G. Robert Carter
Chairman Paulk called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.


REZ-2009-05 Wiregrass Power, LLC, 2637 Old Statenville Hwy, 0164 025. 22.1 ac., E-A to I-S,

County Planner, Jason Davenport, presented the item, stating that both the Planning Commission and TRC recommended approval with conditions.

Chairman Paulk asked those in attendance to be patient with the Commission as the item was considered, since it was an issue that many in attendance may want to speak.

Dr. Michael Noll, 2305 Glynndale Drive, spoke against the request and presented the Commission with a list of questions prepared by himself, Dr. Brad Bergstrom and Mr. Seth Gunning.

Mr. Fred Deloach III, 1411 New Statenville Highway, addressed the Commission requesting that tires and coal be added to the list of prohibited fuel items.

Randy Allison, stated that he owned a farm adjacent to the property and was concerned ^Labout noise and the amount of water that would be consumed.

Mr. Tim Swilley, 3423 Hickory Grove Road, questioned the location of the plant and echoed Mr. Allison’s concerns regarding water.

Mr. Frank Flarherty, 2810 Melrose Drive, voiced concerns addressing pollution.

Mr. Allan Ricketts, Industrial Authority Project Manager, presented the Commission with a presentation supporting the request.

Mr. Bob Turner, Wiregrass Project Manager, also spoke in favor of the request.

Mr. Lee asked that Mr. Turner be allowed to address the concerns stated as well as those presented by Dr. Noll.

Industrial Authority Director, Brad Lofton, joined Mr. Turner and spoke in favor of the request, explaining that this project had been researched for quite some time, adding that it was a good, safe fit for the community.

Commissioner Lee asked if the fuel source might change in the future.

Mr. Turner stated that the plant was being constructed to handle specific items as presented and that due to the nature of the plant, it would only be able to handle those items.

Ken Garren, 4840 Lori Street, spoke in favor of the request as former Industrial Authority Director.

Tom Manning, 5761 Thompson Road, spoke in favor of the request, adding that the applicant seemed capable and that the facility would provide a positive energy source.

Mr. Fred Deloach, Jr., stated that he was not for it or against it, he just wanted more information regarding how it might affect Mud Creek’s water levels.

Mr. Johnny Swilley, Hickory Grove Road, stated that he thought the plant was a wonderful development, but questioned the location.

Commissioner Lee asked how the site was chosen.

Mr. Lofton replied that the combination of available water, fuel and close proximity to transmission lines were all deciding factors.

Commissioner Lee stated that a lot of work had been done on the project and made a motion to approve the request with the following conditions,

  1. only biomass fuel shall be used to generate electricity at the plant site, except for start-up operations which may require the use of natural gas or diesel fuel for a short period of time (not to exceed three (3) calendar days) to stabilize boiler combustion. Eligible biomass fuel shall at no time, during start-up or any other time of operation, include any animal byproducts, animal waste, tires, coal, or any materials other than what has been presented in the letter of intent with the rezoning application submitted on May 5th 2009,

  2. the use of the subject property shall only be a forty (40) megawatt biomass electric generating plant,

  3. the proposed use for Wiregrass Power, LLC will be developed and constructed in substantial compliance with the site plan titled “Concept Layout For: Wiregrass Power, LLC” and submitted by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority to the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners with their rezoning application on May 5th 2009. Additionally, the buffer areas depicted on the site plan shall remain in place to include the maintenance of all proposed buffer areas as presented for the life of the project

  4. and there shall be no lighting impact on adjacent properties,

Vice Chairperson Evans second.

Motion carried.