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Written comment period on Appaloosa Solar project ended; comment opportunities in future

POMEROY––The Garfield County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) discussed the public comment process of the Appaloosa Solar Farm's permit application and cyber security, and authorized an inter-fund transfer at their meeting on January 22.

The commissioners discussed the permit application process of the Appaloosa Solar Farm project with Wendi Watson, who expressed concern about it. The permit application and public comment will be reviewed by a hearings examiner at a public hearing. The hearings examiner will be a contracted individual, likely from a specialized firm.

The deadline for written and mail-in comments ended on January 19, but there will be opportunities for verbal comment at an open house and at the public hearing. The dates for both events have yet to be determined.

Commissioner Justin Dixon encouraged as much public engagement as possible, stating, "don't miss an opportunity to comment." Watson stated her concern of the long-term impact the project would have on the county. "If you think you can bring all this green energy to town and not put our dams at risk, it's shortsighted," she said.

Adam Hodges, of Obenland & Low, met with commissioners to touch base on insurance matters, including the possible creation of a cyber security incident plan. The plan would outline the county's reaction to any cyber-attacks discovered. "Time is very sensitive in cyber-attacks," Hodges stated. The commissioners agreed to look into possible components of a plan.

The BOCC transferred $3,950 from Public Works to the Fairground fund, as part of a work-for-others agreement for work done at the Garfield County Fairgrounds last fall.

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