Half Of Lodging Tax Grant Approved, Haystack Wind Project Updates

WAYNE – Information was sorted out during an appeal of a Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau application while the Haystack Wind project provided updates.

From the Wayne County Courthouse courtroom, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners held their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday morning.

Megan Weaver is the Economic Development Director at Wakefield Progressive, Inc. and visited with the board about the confusion of their late application. Weaver said the application was sent to an old email address on March 16 for the Lodging Tax Grant amount of $750 from the Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The funds were to be used for a first-time event, “Wakefield Field Party” that was held on June 12. Weaver said the event drew about 200 people and no money was made during this event put on by the non-profit group. Weaver went on and stated they used the WCCVB logo in a full page ad in the Wakefield Republican, 4×8 banner on stage and on the Wakefield Economic Development website.

After discussing with members of the Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau board, Wayne County Commissioner’s came to the conclusion that only half of the $750 would be approved with the other half coming supposed to be from Dixon County but Weaver didn’t apply for any funds in Dixon County. An amount of $375 was approved by the commissioners. She thanked the board and a date has already been set for next year as Weaver is hoping the event grows.

Representatives from the Nebraska Public Power District, engineering firm and Bauer Underground attended Tuesday’s meeting for NPPD’s application on using Wayne County right-of-way (ROW) for a new fiber-optic line. The $100 application will begin roughly three miles north of Hoskins near Turtle Creek between 558 and 559 road. Commissioner approved the permit as they want the digging to be done off the grass line and make sure the proper signage is up to warn traffic.

The group will boar at a minimum of five feet below the low line underneath culverts and boar around the outside of bridges at a depth at a minimum of 10 feet below the low line.

The fiber-optic line will work its way northeast up to Hwy 98 where NPPD will need to use a permit from the state up to the Haystack Substation on 566 Ave.

An update was then provided for the Haystack Wind project with a couple hill cuts remaining and turbine deliveries to continue through October. Representatives stated all the 2.4s were up and three of the 5.0s had their bottom piece installed. The taller turbines will be about 12 meters higher than the 2.4s.

A completion date is still on target for November with the excavation complete and less than 10 sites to be poured.

Wayne County commissioners also approved the adoption of COVID Relief rule changes to First Concord making both the Flexible Spending account and Dependent Care Carryovers unlimited to the plan year ending in 2022. An action item then was approved pertaining to the dependent care assistance program from $5,000 to $10,500 for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2020 and before January 1, 2022.

The next Wayne County Board of Commissioners regularly scheduled meeting will be on Tuesday, September 7 at 9 a.m.