In what comes as good news amid declining oil and gas revenue, Ellis County will receive the negotiated $600,000 annually from the Buckeye Wind Project beginning this year.
The Ellis County Commission approved a resolution Monday evening establishing the payment in lieu of property tax fund for the wind farm. The money will be transferred to the general fund for use by the county, according to Resolution 2015-23.
In an effort to be prudent, the county did not budget use of the payment for this year in case of construction delays.
The resolution was approved by Commissioners Marcy McClelland and Dean Haselhorst. Barbara Wasinger was absent at the short meeting.
The payment was established because “there is no property tax on wind,” McClelland said.
She said the wind farm went online Oct. 9. The commission expects to receive an estimated $600,000 by the end of November.
Ellis County faced a difficult budget season this past summer due to declining oil and gas revenue. Commissioners anticipate that next budget session also will be difficult because of the continuing low price.
In other business, the commission:
• Approved the purchase of a landfill scale for the transfer station from Salina Scale Sales and Service Inc. for $79,046. The landfill office scale rebuild bid was approved from Salina Scale for $15,900.
• Heard a report from Harold Schlechtweg, union representative. His recommendation was to have more negotiations with EMS and courthouse personnel to resolve wage issues with those in the county’s Service Employees International Union.
• In a meeting of the Public Building Commission, which is the Ellis County Commission, commissioners were glad the Ellis County Emergency Services building has been completed and could be taken off the list of projects. The ribbon cutting was today.
• Discussed a recognition plaque for the new Ellis County Emergency Services building.