Wind project moving forward

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ Staff writer

City commissioners voted unanimously to move toward creating a six megawatt wind farm on land near the city landfill.

The commissioners’ decision would allow the city to request bids for the wind generators and find funding for the project estimated to cost $10 million. Commissioner Randal Crowder said the city can try and piggy back on wind projects near the city to offset some expenses.

Crowder said the power the wind farm would generate is more than the city needs. He said the project could save the city about $850,000 a year in electricity. He said the city could then sell the excess energy to Xcel Energy, which has a substation equipped with transmission and distribution lines near the proposed wind farm site.

“(The project) will pay for itself,” he said. “Once the project is paid off, the city has created a huge revenue stream without raising taxes.”

Crowder said there are grants available for wind energy projects the city can apply for.
“This is green energy, we’re not (burning) fossil fuels, we’re not polluting. So there are grants available,” he said.

Commissioners also:

• Approved preliminary plans for the Jack Rabbit Run subdivision.
Located one-half mile east of Sugarbeet Road in Curry County, the 42-acre subdivision will contain five units between 7.40 acres and 6.80 acres.

• Approved a redesign of a lot in the Hardwick Addition. The lot in question will be subdivided into two lots. The new design proposes to convert a 60 foot-wide storm water channel that runs diagonally across the lot into a 35-foot wide channel that would run parallel to Llano Estacado Boulevard and empty into a 20-foot wide alley.
Crowder and Commissioner Ron Edwards voted against the redesign.
Crowder said he felt the design puts the city in a difficult position to manage its stormwater drainage system.

• Approved to transfer a liquor license owned by the Prince Lounge to Town and Country Food Stores.

• Declared Wednesday Mayor David M. Lansford Day.

Lansford, a three-term mayor, will not seek re-election in the March 4 municipal election.