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  • Last modified 13 days ago (Oct. 10, 2019)

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Road standoff calming down

Staff writer

Progress is apparently being made in an ongoing dispute between the county and Enel Green Power, the company building Diamond Vista wind farm in the northern portion of the county, over repairing county roads used by the wind farm.

County officials and Enel have been at odds over whose responsibility it is to repair flood damage caused by July rains. The wind farm did not consider the repairs their responsibility and commissioners disagreed, since damage caused by rain is to be expected in Kansas.

A joint inspection of roads in need of repairs was made last week, county engineer Brice Goebel told commissioners Monday.

Goebel said he’s seen some changes in opinion of wind farm officials.

“They’re talking like they’re going to fix it,” Goebel said.

Doing the needed work in phases was discussed during that meeting, he said.

Kirkham Michael, the engineering firm hired as the county’s wind farm project consultant, sent a proposed roadwork plan to county counselor Brad Jantz, who wants commissioners’ input, Goebel said. Much of that work can be done during bad weather, he added.

Enel’s road maintenance agreement states roads used to haul equipment for the wind farm will be left in “as good or better” condition when the project is completed.

“We have to remain optimistic that they’re going to get this done,” Goebel said. “I honestly believe we’re going to come to a resolution and we’re going to get this done.”

Goebel also said he got an email Monday morning from the project manager at the wind farm.

“They’re saying everything west of Goldenrod is ready to be final inspected,” he said.

Goebel said one Road and Bridge department employee attended a state meeting and the county’s dispute was discussed there.

“All eyes are on Marion County, about how we’re being treated and how we’re responding to that,” commissioner Dianne Novak said.

Last modified Oct. 10, 2019

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