Alexandria may allow solar farms – Echo Press

The ordinance regulates the location, construction and installation of solar farms and includes a list of performance standards.

The farms can be community or commercial/industrial.

Small community solar gardens, those occupying 5 acres or less, would be allowed as a permitted or accessory use in locations zoned for agricultural/open space, general business, regional business and light industrial.

They would be limited under state law to generate no more than 1 megawatt of power per year.

Community solar gardens larger than five acres and business solar farms regardless of size, would be allowed as a conditional use.

City Planner Mike Weber, who has attended several meetings on solar farms in the last two years, said that more and more of them are being installed along Interstate 94.

The ordinance, Weber said, was developed after researching solar farms in other communities, organizations and networking groups. It’s compatible with Douglas County’s zoning ordinance and state law.

Following are other items from Monday’s meeting not included in other council stories.

The council approved a resolution to provide the state with a report on how the city is allocating the $1 million federal grant it received in July. through the Coronavirus Aid , Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act.

The council has been providing these reports on a monthly basis. Monday’s action shows where money was spent through Oct. 31.

The biggest chunk of the money spent in October, $355,000, was providing grants to small local businesses to reimburse the costs of closing or interrupting their businesses because of COVID-19.

Some other expenditures in October were to purchase personal protection equipment, cleaning supplies and personnel equipment that allowed staff to work from home and wages for public safety employees ($34,040); improving telework capabilities for public employees ($8,178); and miscellaneous expenses, such as liquor license refunds, and a West Central Communities Action grant ($58,000).

The money spent in October combined with the $134,042 the city has already spent brings the total amount to $591,740.

The city still has a balance of $236,433 in its CARES Act grant.

The council agreed to provide a 25% refund for those with an on-sale beer, wine or brewer taproom license. There are five businesses that have those types of licenses.

If all the affected licensees request the refund, the total cost to the city from 2020 revenue would be $1,125.

Back in June, the council gave the same refund to on-sale liquor licenses to help them recover from business lost during the pandemic.


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