ECS file to intervene in solar projects

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — During a meeting on Monday, March 11, the Eaton Community Schools Board of Education approved a resolution authorizing the filing of a notion to intervene, on behalf of the school district, in the Ohio Power Siting Board cases concerning applications for location of solar electric generation facilities within the district’s boundaries.

The resolution states, “Whereas, the Eaton Community School District, County of Preble, Ohio is responsible for providing safe, effective learning environments and a challenging curriculum to prepare its students for success; and whereas, real property taxes constitute a significant portion of the District’s revenues necessary to support its educational mission; and

“Whereas, the District has a real and substantial interest in preserving the real property tax base so that it can continue to provide outstanding service to its students, parents, and the community; and whereas, Open Road Renewables, LLC, has filed two applications with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) seeking authority to construct two solar electric generation facilities within the District’s boundaries, totally approximately 1,800 acres; and

“Whereas, under Ohio Revised Code, qualifying facilities, including solar electric generation facilities, can qualify for real property tax exemption and payments in lieu of taxes to certain local taxing units; and whereas, among the criteria for approval of such facilities considered by the OPSB is whether the facility will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity; and

“Whereas, parties having an interest in an application before the OPSB may move to intervene in the proceedings; and whereas, at this time, the Board of Education believes it is in the District’s interest to intervene in the OPSB proceedings considering the applications submitted on behalf of Open Road Renewables within the District’s boundaries, so that the District will have the opportunity to participate in the process and learn more about the facilities’ potential impacts.”

At press time, Superintendent Jeff Parker added, “The decision to file a motion to intervene with the Ohio Power Siting Board regarding the proposed solar farms in our school district is a matter of process that we hope, as an impacted party, allows us a seat at the table.”

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH