By Jim Allen
The Douglas County PLM Subcommittee met at 9:00 a.m. on August 8 with members Tom Glenn, Jim Mikeworth and Phil Morris in attendance. County Clerk Judi Pollock was also in attendance..
Pollock addressed the voting issues in the upcoming November elections and was able to assure that voting in Douglas County would be secure. Information on mail in voting has been sent to each household in the county and all those who voted in one of the last three elections will receive an application for vote by mail. If a registered voter has not voted in one of the three previous elections, that person may request an application to vote by mail by calling 217-253-2442.
Any vote received by mail before the election will be scanned so that fraud will not be possible by a person wanting to send in additional ballots. A second ballot will be rejected since a previous ballot has already been scanned. At a polling place, a person will be denied another ballot since the earlier vote has been recorded.
Several employees of the county have not been able to use vacation time due to scheduling changes caused by COVID-19. The Douglas County Health Department has been especially affected by this. The PLM subcommittee is studying the possibility of extending the amount of time that affected employees have to use their vacation time. At this time vacation time earned in one year cannot be used in the next year. Chairman Tom Glenn will be working with the other members of the subcommittee to address the issue.
The Plat and Planning subcommittee met on August 8 at 9:00 a.m. with members Tom Hettinger, Dick Hein, and Jim Mikeworth present. Information on the Broadlands Wind Farm was presented by operations manager Zack Byron. All of the turbines are on line and producing power. The trailers at the lay down yard will be removed in the coming weeks and personnel will be located at the Operations and Maintenance building one mile south of the present facilities.
As with all improvements, the turbines will be assessed as of 1-1-2021and taxes will be paid in 2020. The evaluation of the turbines is based on the megawatt of the nameplate capacity. The fair cash value of the wind for each turbine is $360,000 per megawatt. There are 37 4.3 megawatt units which will be valued at $1,548,000 and 11 3.7 megawatt units which will be valued at $1,332,000. The assessed value of these will be one third of the fair cash value, or $516,000 and $444,000 respectively.
A question was raised as to whom complaints should be addressed including noise, shadow flicker, cellular interruption, television and radio interference, and related matters. Although Zack is still the contact person for concerns, Matt Wingler will be taking over for these issues. Matt’s email will be firstname.lastname@example.org.