July 22, 2014 - 03:19
Ducktown eyes renting out solar farm
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Article Author: By Emily Dilbeck
Kelly will lease the property for $1,750 a year for 20 years.

Ducktown honored a long-time Commissioner at its regular City Council meeting on Thursday, December 6th. Commissioner Brad Miller chose not to seek re-election this year, bringing an end to his 7 years of public service.

Ducktown Mayor James Talley said that working with Miller had been an honor and that the Commission wished him well. However, Talley joked, Miller isn’t quite off the hook yet. Miller will keep one foot in the water and fill a vacant seat on Ducktown’s Housing Board.

The two recently elected Commissioners were then sworn in. Doug Collins, who was re-elected, and James Cearley, a first-time Commissioner, were sworn in by City Clerk Marty Fowler.

The Commission voted to keep James Talley as Mayor and Doug Collins as Vice Mayor. Cearley will also serve as the Street and Sidewalk Supervisor, while Collins will remain in charge of Parks and Recreation.

Mayor Talley told the Commission the survey of the new industrial park, which is a joint venture with the County, has almost been completed. He said they expect to begin work on removing vegetation in the new future and will begin prepping the site by spring.

The Commissioners also held a 1st reading of a Memorandum of Understanding regarding a new Solar agreement. The City will rent out a 90 by 90 area to a Greg Kelly of Hana Solar in Atlanta, who has financed the installation of a 50-watt solar farm. Kelley will maintain the property and has spent over 150,000 on equipment. Talley said it would be completed sometime this week.

Kelly offered to build the 50-watt farm after the grant Ducktown had applied for fell through. The City had already reached an agreement with TVA regarding the farm, which TVA decided to longer offer to new solar farms shortly after the City accepted their proposal. Without the financing, Talley said this agreement with TVA would have gone to waste, and Kelly had agreed to step in to finish the project before TVA’s offer expired.

Kelly will lease the property for $1,750 a year for 20 years. He has agreed to pay the sum up front. At the end of the 20-year period, the City of Ducktown will receive half the revenue generated by this farm. Talley said this is expected to be around $4,000.

Ducktown will hold a called meeting to further discuss the Solar Farm lease on Tuesday, the 18th at 6 pm. The Planning Commission, which has been the forum for debate regarding the Urban Growth Boundary Plan, will not meet in the month of the December. It will next meet on the 3rd Thursday of January at 6:30 pm in Ducktown City Hall at its regularly schedule meeting.

The Ducktown City Commission meets every 1st Thursday in City Hall at 7 pm.  

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