Marion County has spent $22,725 in attorney’s fees related to Expedition Wind, and county commissioners have voted to hire yet another lawyer to help negotiate a contract with the wind farm company planning to develop a wind farm in the southern portion of the county.
Talks between the county and Expedition Wind have been taking place out of the public eye, through letters sent between attorneys for the wind farm and county counselor Brad Jantz.
Commissioners last week decided they needed another lawyer hired by Oct. 21.
To date, the county has spent $22,725 on lawyers for work related to the Expedition Wind project since National Renewable Solutions purchased the project from an earlier developer. The county spent $2,973 on legal expenses with the earlier developer. County clerk Tina Spencer said Expedition has reimbursed the county $16,600 of those expenses.
Legal bills related to agreements with Diamond Vista totaled $22,175.
Legal bills related to a lawsuit against the county by wind farm opponents are not included in these amounts because no invoices have been sent to the county, Spencer said.
Spencer said when Diamond Vista wind farm in the northern portion of the county negotiated with the county, agreements were made for road maintenance, payments in lieu of taxes, and decommissioning.