Knox Co. Board to consider Williamsfield solar garden, roof repair, bridge replacement

The Knox County board could approve a conditional use permit for a solar garden at the Williamsfield school district at tonight’s meeting.

The proposed solar garden would be located on the northwest corner of the school grounds, at the corner of Scheeler and North Pine Streets to be installed maintained by Clean Energy Design Group.

The one-acre solar farm energy facility will produce around 414 kilowatts to help offset the district’s electrical needs. The lines will be run underground so no lines will be exposed.

Williamsfield Superintendent Tim Farquer tells WGIL that it would cut the district’s energy purchase rate from $0.0413/kWh to $0.0265/kWh.

“Our conservative model indicates a savings of around $9500 next year and around $100,000 after year 10. Our long-term goal is to generate, store, & use much of our own energy, thus reducing our dependency on the grid. ”

To coincide with the solar garden approval, the zoning board recommended an amendment to the solar energy amendment to allow school district’s in all zoning districts to require a conditional use permits to operate solar farms or gardens.

The board will also consider bids at tonight’s meeting to repair the roof at the nursing home and to replace a bridge in the rural Yates City.

According to board documents, Dowers Roofing’s low-bid of $43,017 was approved by the nursing home committee at their meeting last week.

Dowers’ bid came in at about a third of what the other bid, from Sterling Commercial Roofing, came in at, $127,200.

The board will also consider replacing an Elba Township bridge that is 53 years old and appears to have concrete deck beams that have extensive cracking.

The low-bid came in at $396,470.00, which is almost $43,205 over the engineer’s estimate for the project.

Funding, according to board documents, will come from the Township Bridge Program fund — which will cover 80 percent, while Knox County and Elba Road District will split the other 20 percent.

The county board meets in an open session at 6:00 p.m. at the Galesburg City Council chambers.

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