Tradewind Energy Provides Presentation Of Haystack Wind Project, One Of Two Tabled Courthouse Restoration Items Approved

WAYNE – All re-appointment items were approved as the first Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting was highlighted by several discussion and action items.

Commissioners first adjusted their chairmen and vice-chairmen positions as Dean Burbach will now serve as chair for the board of commissioners and Jim Rabe will shift to chair the board of equalization. Terry Sievers will serve as vice-chair for both boards.

Kate Hopkins is the development manager with Tradewind Energy and will be the contact for Wayne county during the Haystack Wind Project, LLC. Hopkins provided a presentation to the commissioners highlighting the proposed 300 megawatt project that could see 50-75 turbines.

The company founded in 2003, is based in Lenexa, Kansas and in 2018 developed the Rattlesnake Creek Wind Farm in Dixon County. This 320 MW project provides 100% of the power to the new Facebook data center in Papillion, NE.

The Haystack project will provide $20 – 25 million in property tax payments over 20 years, 5-10 permanent jobs along with over 300 temporary construction jumps and $15 – 25 million total landowner payments.

Hopkins also added they would like to keep in touch as they work through finalizing their construction planning. A best-case scenario would be construction to start in fall of 2020/early 2021 and go online by end of 2021. As of Tuesday’s meeting, Tradewind was 90-95% (25,000 acres) complete of acquiring land but still are waiting to finalize what type of turbine they’ll be using and secure their power purchase agreement. Hopkins and Tradewind engineering representatives were going to talk with highway superintendent Mark Casey about their primary-preferred locations and back-up sites.

Moving into the courthouse restoration project, an item that has been tabled the last couple meetings saw approval (2-1) being the Alpha Change Order A. This was dated for November 8, 2019 and will result in a net decrease of $77,452.24 in masonry allowance funds. Commissioners were at a point to move forward but still need better documentation.

The next tabled item will remain on the next agenda for Change Order Number 001 (dated 11/21/2019) which would increase the contract sum $3,727. The board would like to see where the costs are coming from before they make any more changes to an already project that is capped at $2 million.

The lone bid for one new bottom-dump gravel trailer was approved from Iowa Trailer Manufacturing Co, LLC (Storm Lake, IA) for $55,976. The price saw a slight increase from their last purchase in 2017 and the county owns at least two trailers from ITM.

Casey also brought forward a request from Herbst Construction for a ‘Winter Work Spec’ to be added to the contract for the Temme bridge project. The board denied the motion since it would stop the calendar of work days until April 1. The project was scheduled to begin on June 3, 2018 and it’s been roughly 126 working days for an originally scheduled 95-day construction period.

The next Wayne County Board of Commissioners regularly scheduled meeting will be on Tuesday, January 21 at 9 a.m. A public hearing will take place in the annex building to adopt a resolution to continue to elect the county surveyor.