- The meeting of the Town of Hay River Board was called to order at 6:56 p.m. by the Chairman & verified legally posted. Board members in attendance: Russ Hitz, Ned Hahn, Cindy Hoff.
- Beth Esser with One Energy Renewables presented the proposed Solar Project off of Hwy. 170, near Big River Resources. Beth mentioned there is a second proposed Solar Project in the Town of Tainter. Both projects are proposed by One Energy Renewables, with Dunn Energy Co-op. The three main criteria for placement of such solar projects are:
- Within 2-3 miles of an energy substation & adjacent to three-phase lines
- Site is suitable; flat, not in a flood plain, and soil can be driven into
- Landowner willing to sell or lease the land.
Daley Brothers are willing landowners in Hay River to lease 10 acres, for 30 years, with the option to extend the lease an additional 10 years.
Beth explained that the bifacial panels proposed can absorb light on both sides, the rows are placed North-South, and the panels operate on a beam that rotates them East-West. Steel piles to support the frame of the panels will be driven into the ground, & a 10′ x 10′ cement pad will house transformers. From an aerial view, only 30% of the ground will be covered by the panels, at their level position. One Energy plans to make dual use of the land and will either plant under the panels with a native perennial pollinator mix, or a grazing blend which could be grazed by sheep. The 1 1/2 megawatt project projects to provide enough energy for 415 average use homes, educational opportunities for area schools, apiaries for local beekeepers, and will donate any extra panels from the project to a local non profit or school that would be interested in installing solar panels.
Supervisor Hahn asked the following questions: (Beth Esser’s response will be noted.
- Is there anything majorly different in a small 10 acre project such as this, compared to the very large solar farms? Solar projects over 50 megawatts are taxed by the State of Wisconsin, 60% going to the County and 40% going to the Township. Additionally, larger scale projects need to obtain permitting at the State level vs. County/Town. Lastly, local co-ops look at the load of their substations and size their solar project needs to the max amount.
- Have you seen any resistance to this project thus far? No, and not typically when working with one land owner on a smaller scale with lower visual impact for residential neighbors.
- Is there a government push for solar energy? Most utilities have clean energy goals, as well as the State & Federal Governments. Technology in solar panels has advanced making it economically sensible. A lot of investor owned utilities are also pushing for solar energy.
- What is the cost for this project? A solar project of the same size, 1 1/2 megawatts was recently completed in Iowa for $2.5 million. That is not final, nor is that number considered a quote for the proposed Hay River project.
Resident Jeff Booth asked asked who pays for the project to which Beth replied: Each project that One Energy proposes gets specific financing & partners with local energy co-ops. This project is in partnership with Dunn Energy whose investment is purchasing the energy generated. One Energy handles permitting & building of the project, and sells the energy to Dunn Energy, who in turn sells it to their consumers.
Supervisor Ned Hahn makes a motion that the Town of Hay River approve, and support that the proposed solar project moves forward. Seconded by Supervisor Cindy Hoff. Carried 3-0.
3. The Clerk read the minutes of the April meeting. Hahn moved to approve the minutes as read, seconded by Hoff. Carried 3-0.
4. Treasurer’s report was given by Sue. She reported $13,136.63 in checking, $45,835.25 in the money market, $180,408.36 in the tax account, $11,220.82 in the machine fund, $30,862.71 in special funds, and $19,267.74 in the solid waste account for a grand total of $300,731.73. Sue notified that there are 179 dogs licensed in the township, but knows that there are more. There is still one outstanding Personal Property tax due, for a total of $331.57. Treasurer’ s report was approved by motion of Hoff. Seconded Hahn. Carried 3-0
Public Comments: Broadband Internet: Russ advised that he spoke with a Rep from LTD Broadband who stated that they (LTD) haven’t yet been awarded a contract by the FCC from the pool of grant money, but that they expect to be. While not official, it would be for the remaining areas of Hay River that are not covered by CCO/Charter.
Jeff Booth shared that he spoke with Charter who confirmed that Charter does have the grant money and contract for the blue areas of Hay River marked on the map, but that any area North of County Road N was not in their territory. Jeff asked how the covered area was decided and the board replied that the Federal government had a pool of grant money and they decided who won, and which areas they won. Jeff also spoke with Century Link and was told that they will not be bringing or expanding internet services in Hay River.
Side discussion on the topic was taking place between Steve Rasmussen and Jeremy Cassellius, to whom Chairman Russ Hitz asked loudly to quit talking.
Russ said that Mosaic is not part of the grant pool, and that any other provider other than Charter that is putting in lines is doing so illegally. It was mentioned by Hahn that Mosaic already serviced the northern part of the Township with phone lines, now they are bringing internet to their current coverage area. Russ then stated that the Town is pursuing broadband internet and will keep residents informed on the project, but that we are at a point where we need to be patient, there is not anything we can do to hurry things along. The Town does not have it in the current budget to partner with any providers, and does not want to increase taxes for our residents.
- Jeremy shared that the wing plate on the grader was welded and primed for paint. Tainter Machine fixed the plate & cracks for approx. $250. The new plate that was ordered is still not in.
- Grader bushings need to be replaced: John Deere quoted $1,100 for 5 bushings. Motion to order the bushings was made by Hahn, seconded by Hoff. Carried 3-0.
- Purchased 133 tons of salt/sand mix from Dunn County
8. Road Projects: Jeremy is still waiting on culvert quotes, as well as a quote for gravel. Below are bids from Dunn County:
- 980th Project: $97,616.77 (LRIP)
- 970th Project: $15,181.24 (additional $15,181.24 from Sherman, $5,380.69 from Tainter)
- 350th Project: $35,069.82
- 390th Project: $125 per load (delivered/spread/leveled by Wirth Bros.)
Hahn made motion to approve the bids & move forward with these projects, pending the funds are available. (Clerk will draft a Cash Flow Projection and email it to the board & patrolman). Seconded by Hoff. Carried 3-0.
9. Update from Plan Commission:
- Survey: Russ asked if Sue received the Survey Cover Letter from the Clerk, she hadn’t. Clerk sent cover letter via email on 4/19/ and 5/5. Will resend and drop off a hard copy.
- Clerk to mail or email Building Permit to Rottels
- Village of Boyceville did not provide a cost estimate for their Hazardous Waste event, Town of Hay River unwilling to participate without that information as we have our budget set for the year.
10. CSM Reviews and Approvals: None
11. Building Permits: Clerk presented the Board with Building Permits for Drury and Beyer projects for review.
- Russ asked Ned to attend the Ambulance Meeting
- BOR Training-Russ took the BOR Training materials home for completion & will touch base with Ned Hahn so that he can complete the training prior to the BOR meeting.
- Clerk to bring utility permits to the next meeting
13. Clerk presented checks 14558-14575 & 4 EFT’s for approval & signatures. Hahn made motion to approve payables, seconded by Hoff. Carried 3-0.
14. Next regular meeting will be June 13, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.
15. Regular meeting was motioned to adjourn at 8:59 P,M., seconded Hoff. Carried 3-0.
Dated this 11th day of May, 2022
Samantha Bird, Clerk