Commissioners approve ordinance for solar farms within the county

Feb. 05, 2013 @ 03:07 PM

Vance County Commissioners met Monday night, approving an amended solar farm zoning ordinance that will allow for solar farms within the county.

Vice Chairperson Deborah Brown moved a motion for approval of the ordinance. The motion carried with all commissioners in favor except Gordon Wilder of District 3.

“Two projects are expected to come forward very quickly if approved,” said Jordan McMillan, Vance County planning director.

Those two projects are expected with HelioSage Energy, a solar project development firm in Charlottesville, Va., and Carolina Solar Energy, the southeast’s leading provider of commercial photovoltaic solar systems.

Five members of the public went before the board for the second week in a row to voice the need for a no wake zone in Pughly’s Mill Creek, a narrow waterway in the Kerr Lake reservoir.

Citizens relayed their concern for the safety of young children who play and swim in and around the waters where boaters circle through a narrow stretch of water at high speeds, creating a large amount of wake.

Despite one man speaking in opposition of the proposed boating regulations, due to expected financial determent to his closely located business, commissioners made a recommendation to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for specifically requested boating rules and regulations near Pughly’s Mill Creek.

Regulations promulgated by the commission for placement of waterway markers are subject to approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“The Corps of Engineers is who is going to make the final decision on this,” said Tommy Hester, board chairman.

Commissioners received a yearly update and incentive policy presentation from Stuart Litvin, director of the Henderson-Vance County Economic Development Commission.

Litvin shared goals and objectives that were met last year, as well as procedures the EDC will follow in the future.

He also invited the board to an EDC meeting that will take place next Wednesday, Feb. 13. Area small businesses are also invited to attend the meeting where Lynn L. Douthett, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, will speak.

Discussion will include financial benefits offered to small business through Congress’ fiscal cliff deal.

Tanya Weary, director of the Small Business Center at Vance-Granville Community College, is also expected to speak.

A request was made by Terri Hedrick, public information officer for Vance County Schools and appearance commission board member, for an Environmental Manager Position.

Board members were in agreement for the need of hiring a solid waste manager or environmental program director, believing the position would allow someone to carry out the tasks of educating county residents on economic benefits created by properly disposed of waste, and by reusing and recycling.

Contact the writer at amauser@hendersondispatch.com.