Floyd County Board of Supervisors Meeting
March 20, 2012, 10:00 AM
The Floyd County Board of Supervisors met for workshop session at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 20, 2012 in the Board Room of the Floyd County Courthouse with the following in attendance: Chairman Kamm and Supv. Kuhn; Absent: Supv. Dunkel.
Kuhn/Kamm moved to approve the agenda as presented. Motion carried 2-0.
Supv Kamm attended a joint entity meeting at the Chamber this morning. Supv Kuhn attended the ISAC spring school where they met with legislatures and heard various sides of the property tax reform proposals. Supv Kuhn also attended a NIACOG meeting where there was general discussion on budgets. Both supvervisor’s attended Governor Branstad’s meeting last Friday regarding his proposal for property tax reform.
Supv Kuhn spoke about Floyd and Johnson counties being approved by the Iowa Utilities Board as the first counties in the state to be designated as small wind innovation zone areas. A handout of Kuhn’s proposal to build the first small wind turbine in a small wind innovation zone area in Iowa at the Fossil and Prairie Center was distributed. Richie Judas, Bergey Wind Systems, was introduced as a sales/distribution representative of wind turbines. At the February 29th meeting, the Butler County REC Board of Directors approved to accept a proposal to enter into power purchase agreement with a net metering contract for a pilot project with the Center. Net metering offers every kilowatt of energy produced by the small wind turbine, the photo voltaic solar panels and the energy offset by the thermal solar hot water panels to be done so at the retail rate; every kilowatt of electricity produce by that renewable energy center would offset at retail cost the energy consumed by the center. The proposal is for the installation of a 10k wind turbine on the site and a 10 kw solar power system on the roof of the Center with total project costs estimated at $150,000. This project offers an educational opportunity for renewal energy for visitors to explore. Kuhn has also met with the Floyd County Conservation Board and the Fossil & Prairie Center Foundation Board. The proposal identifies a committee of eight people with representation from the Conservation Department, such as the Director, the Fossil & Prairie Center Foundation, the Floyd County Conservation Board, the Floyd County Board of Supervisors, the Butler County REC Board of Directors, the Butler County REC Engineering Department, a Floyd County resident with extensive knowledge of small wind turbine, such as Bill Fluhrer, a Floyd County resident with extensive knowledge of solar energy, such as Dennis White. By May 31, 2012 and on behalf of the Fossil & Prairie Foundation, the committee would submit an application with the Iowa Energy Center for up to a $25,000 Technology, Demonstration and Education Grant for the educational component of the real time monitoring of the renewable energy sources with perhaps a station located inside the Center where a person could observe the processes. If the application would be awarded, as the owners, the Foundation would have a way to pay down the cost of the equipment spread over a long period of time from the savings of the energy. Iowa Energy Center offers a zero percent interest loan for up to half of the total cost of the project minus grant dollars with the remainder being financed through a local bank at prevailing interest rates. Kuhn commented that the County has $5,000 budgeted in FY12 and $4,250 budgeted in FY13 for small wind turbine grants and with Board of Supervisor’s approval could possibly use that money for this project. A letter in support of the project from Kamyar Enshayan, University of Iowa Center for Energy & Environmental Education Director, was distributed. Doug Schroeder, Conservation Director, comments included that they have a building and site that is suitable for solar and wind energy, they were unsuccessful in seeking funding over 10 years ago for a similar project, the educational component of the project fits with the center’s mission, the foundation thinks this is a great idea if as much buy-down of the costs can be made upfront and the staff time is limited for grant writing. It was also noted that the facility is a site to be used in an emergency situation so if the grid went down, the facility would likely be able to sustain energy to continue communication efforts. Kuhn commented that RC&D is willing to work with the grant writing process and has lots of experience with renewable energy grants. Jeff Sherman, Zoning/E911 Addressing/Sanitarian Director, commented that the placement of the turbine will need to be in a position to no interfere with the antenna for the stream gage signals. Supv Kamm expressed concern about the funding of the project and that the money budgeted was intended for individual $500 incentives rather than this type of project. Larry Hicok, Conservation Board Chair, commented that conservation has been about fins, feathers, land and streams but other resources such as wind and sun should be considered as well and it looks like a green light as far as the Conservation Board is concerned. Dennis White reviewed plans that include thermal solar, i.e. solar hot water, photo voltaic, i.e. electric modules, as well as the turbine, explained proposed turbine locations and panels on the building, and a brief overview of the system and what it accomplishes. Kuhn commented that he would like a system that will ensure the best equipment, backed by the best warranty, and the best maintenance plan. Kuhn and White will be attending Butler County REC’s annual meeting on Saturday to present information on the project. Kuhn/Kamm moved to accept the proposal to build a wind/solar educational center at the Fossil & Prairie Center based on the specifics of the proposal and appoint Mark Kuhn to serve on the committee. Motion carried 2-0. Supv Kamm commented again about concerns of where the money will come from to support the effort.
Future agenda items: the committee who researched putting “Floyd” back on the courthouse will be presenting to the committee at next Monday’s workshop.
Kuhn/Kamm motioned to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried 2-0.
ATTEST: _________________________________ ____________________________________
Gloria A. Carr Douglas A. Kamm, Chair
Floyd County Auditor Floyd County Board of Supervisors