Commissioners say letters are being sent to landowners near Benedict regarding another proposed solar field in York County

YORK COUNTY – As an important meeting approaches regarding proposed county zoning regulations for solar fields, it appears a second such solar project might be in the works in York County.

Currently, it is being proposed that a large solar field be constructed in the McCool Junction area by the Omaha Public Power District.

Now, it appears yet another solar field project might be in the beginning stages southwest of Benedict.

During Tuesday morning’s meeting of the York County Commissioners, Chairman Randy Obermier said he was informed by landowners from that area how they have received easement proposal letters from a company called New Era Renewables regarding the use of their land for a solar field.

“I don’t know if any of that information is public, but I guess the company made it public by sending out those letters,” Obermier said. “And now, people in that part of the county are talking about it. It will be interesting to see how that project proceeds forward, and how our zoning regulation discussions will go.”

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The county’s zoning and planning commission has been working for months on zoning regulations pertaining to solar fields, as York County had not had such regulations before. Then came the proposed project by McCool Junction and the need was seen to put regulations in force.

“The public meeting will take place this Thursday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m., at the Holthus Convention Center,” Obermier said. “Hopefully following this meeting, we will have recommended regulations come before this board (the board of commissioners, which makes the final decision. The planning and zoning board hears public comment and formulates regulations for the county board to consider).”

Nate Heinz, the York County planning and zoning administrator, has said this week’s meeting will likely result in a vote by the commission – meaning they will be pushing forward proposed regulations.

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