Council OKs airport solar farm

Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A proposed solar farm at Warren Field Airport is closer to becoming a reality after the Washington City Council authorized the city manager to sign documents pertaining to the project. The authorization came during the councils meeting Monday. City staff has been working with Duke Energy Renewables on bringing the solar farm to the city-owned airport. The proposed project has been discussed by the Airport Advisory Board, which supports the proposal. The board believes the revenue generated for the city by the solar farm will help offset some airport-related expenditures, according to a memorandum from Allen Lewis, the city’s public-works director, to the mayor and council members. The council approved leasing airport land to Washington Airport Solar LLC for up to 15 years (an initial five-year term with options for two additional five-year terms), with rent at $1,200 per acre per year. The ground lease (which the council must approve) is for 34.3 acres. The 34.3 acres are south of the intersection of runways 5-23 and 17-35. The council also approved a ground easement agreement, solar skyway easement and an indemnity agreement between the city and Washington Airport Solar. “I would certainly like for this board to commend the manager for the effort he has put in to getting this project moving along. He has gone above and beyond what I would consider his normal responsibilities,” Councilman Doug Mercer said of City Manager Brian Alligood’s work on the project. “I would echo that. I know many times there have been a lot of opportunities along the way. I’ve offered to get firm with the various parties involved. The manager did a wonderful job in holding that off and preserving the process and opportunity to get this done. So, hats off on that,” Mayor Archie Jennings said. Alligood said City Attorney Franz Holscher and Allen Lewis, the city’s public-works director, and his staff were instrumental in helping bring the project along. “They were very diligently on this,” he said.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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