Crawford licensing ordinance passes, 3-0
The Crawford County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, June 29, adopted an ordinance that would require facilities like the 28-megawatt woody-biomass-to-electricity plant proposed for near Milltown to be licensed.
During their regular monthly meeting at the Crawford County Judicial Complex in English, the three commissioners reconvened a public hearing that began in March, and, after just a few minutes, unanimously approved the ordinance.
It was a different, more stringent ordinance than what was presented a month ago. Attorney Mike Scanlon of Barnes & Thornburg LLC of Indianapolis, hired by the commissioners earlier this year to draft the ordinance, said he incorporated many suggestions from written public comments that were submitted following the previous meeting.
There was ‘a lot of good information in there,’ he told the commissioners.
Among the additions were allowing the commissioners to require an environmental impact study, if desired, expanding the air impact section to include the impact on the food chain and including a section dealing with impact on third-party property owners.
Cara Beth Jones, co-chair of the Concerned Citizens of Crawford County, formed in opposition to the biomass plant soon after Liberty Green Renewables Indiana announced in late 2008 its plans to build the biomass plant northwest of the intersection of state roads 64 and 66 North, told the commissioners the ordinance appears to be a good one.
‘We think this puts in place something that can be used down the road, if need be, to protect the citizens here,’ she said.
However, John Kraft, of the New Albany legal firm of Young, Lind, Endres & Kraft, which is representing LGRI, suggested some revisions, including making financial security to the county due before the start of construction instead of issuance of the license.
The commissioners, however, chose to pass the ordinance as is. District 3 Commissioner Jim Schultz, in making the motion to do so, said the ordinance could be amended after their attorney reviews the proposed changes.
Following the 3-0 vote, most of the crowd in the courtroom stood and applauded.
In another matter, Lee Holzbog, superintendent of the county highway department, submitted his resignation after admitting to accidentally tearing out the wrong bridge on Mount Sterling Road.
Holzbog said the two bridges were in close proximity to each other and he didn’t realize his mistake until it was too late.
Schultz said that while the bridge that was supposed to have been replaced was on the critical inspection list, the other one does still need attention, although it wasn’t scheduled for repair at this time.
‘I hate that I made that mistake,’ Holzbog said.
So far, the project ‘ the bridge, materials and equipment ‘ has cost the county $47,500.