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The Bladen County Board of Commissioners met on Monday night and took up the issue of a proposed solar farm to be constructed in the town of Elizabethtown’s ETJ.

The town of Elizabethtown has already denied a request the propriety in question, which is located on M & M Drive be removed form the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. At Monday’s meeting a group of citizens was asking the Bladen County County Board of Commissioners to remove the property from Elizabethtown’s ETJ. The property is owned by Sun Source Land Company and the Bladen County Planning Board sent a letter to the Board recommending the Commissioners request the town to relinquish the property from their ETJ. Read the Bladen County Planning Board’s letter here.

Jeremy McKoy signed up to address the commissioners regarding the matter. He told the board he was there to represent the residents who reside on Peanut Plant Road and those citizens who reside in Newtown along Martin Luther King Drive. McKoy said a group of citizens went to the Elizabethtown Town Council earlier this year and requested they not approve the proposed solar farm.

McKoy said the group was told that in the worst case scenario, someone could potentially enter the fence and attempt to steal the copper used in the solar farm. He asked the Commissioners, what is going to prevent a child from entering the fence. McKoy said there are a large number of children in the neighborhood surrounding the proposed solar farm location.

“We ask you tonight to not let Bladen County become another Flint, Michigan,” said McKoy.

Bladen County Commissioner Chairman Charles Ray Peterson said the county cannot take the property out of the ETJ for Elizabethtown. Commissioner Peterson also asked if the people understood the proposal and proceeded to explain the proposal to those gathered.

According to Chairman Peterson, the proposal for the solar farm includes a 40 year lease. The group of investors will set aside $20,000 per year into a trust fund and a committee will oversee the trust fund and how it is spent. Chairman Peterson said the solar farm will also generate $12,000 in tax revenue for the county.

McKoy argued that solar farms also contain radiation. He argued that sunlight enters the solar panels and creates radiation which gives off the energy and the panels also emit radiation.

Commissioner Ray Britt said he learned of a solar farm being constructed near his home when he work up one morning to find work crews on the site preparing the land for the solar panels. He said when it was placed into operation he did not hear it running.

Chairman Peterson said solar farms must be located on “special land.” He said, “I think it’s good deal for Bladen County,” said Chairman Peterson.

The board voted to send a letter to the town of Elizabethtown requesting they reconsider their decision.

In other business:

—The board heard from Bladen County 4-H Youth Delegate Shonita Hayes.

— The board also approved a fee increase for the Parvo vaccine made by the Bladen County Animal Control Board. The fee will increase from $15 to $20.

—The board approved a request from Bladen County Schools for $392,780.89 in capital outlay project. See project list here.