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Pierson Twp. implements solar energy moratorium


The Pierson Township Board voted Monday to place a four-month moratorium on issuing photo voltaic vitality permits whereas the Planning Fee works on drafting a photo voltaic ordinance. From left, Supervisor Dan Buyze and Treasurer Lydia Orcutt each voted “sure” whereas Trustee Caleb Sower didn’t vote as a result of he works for an influence firm. Not pictured are Clerk Sara Burkholder and Trustee Jason Bergman, who additionally each voted “sure.” — DN Photograph | Elisabeth Waldon

PIERSON TOWNSHIP – The Pierson Township Board met for its first assembly of the brand new 12 months on Monday, and whereas it was a darkish and wet evening, the main focus was on the solar – photo voltaic vitality, to be precise.

The township board voted 4-0 to place a moratorium on issuing photo voltaic vitality permits throughout the township whereas the Planning Fee begins work on making a photo voltaic ordinance.

“If any of us on the board or the viewers have learn any of the information articles within the native paper or heard of a number of the issues which can be taking place, photo voltaic is the subsequent massive factor together with wind,” mentioned Supervisor Dan Buyze. “We are going to attempt to study from the municipalities and get forward of them by having a brief moratorium on any industrial allow. We do not wish to drag it out ceaselessly. Some municipalities have a moratorium for a 12 months, however we wish to resolve it inside 4 months.”

“Or much less,” agreed Zoning Administrator Lance Gates.

Buyze, Clerk Sara Burkholder, Treasurer Lydia Orcutt and Trustee Jason Bergman all voted to approve a decision putting a four-month moratorium on photo voltaic tasks. Trustee Caleb Sower abstained from voting attributable to battle of curiosity.

“I work for an electrical firm and so I am conflicted about it, so I’ll abstain,” Sower defined.

The Planning Fee is scheduled to fulfill at 7 p.m. on January 25 to start work on the photo voltaic ordinance.

“That is what is going on to be sizzling and heavy over the subsequent three months,” Gates concluded.

“It is actually crucial for us to give you a plan for this,” Bergman mentioned.

“Time to analysis issues is at all times factor,” Burkholder added.


Additionally throughout Monday’s assembly, the Pierson Township Board voted 5-0 to rescind a decision from 2015 that devoted all landfill charges from the Central Sanitary Landfill in Pierson to township roads.

Buyze emphasised that the funds will nonetheless be earmarked for metropolis roads, however he needs the choice to doubtlessly use the funds for different issues in case of an emergency.

“I personally really feel uncomfortable figuring out within the present local weather and prices that we solely should dedicate considered one of our most important income streams to at least one particular factor – not figuring out if it is a lawsuit or a catastrophe in time or something with a small price range,” he mentioned. “I wish to make it completely clear that we don’t intend to switch funds to something aside from roads, however we should be prepared if one thing occurs and the best way it’s being expressed now, that won’t occur.”

Buyze mentioned he despatched the 2015 ordinance to lawyer Rob Thall of Bauckham Sparks Thall Seeber & Kaufman in Portage for assessment earlier than the city board voted to repeal it and the lawyer famous the best way the ordinance was written. , it’s primarily based on New York regulation, no. a Michigan regulation.

“I believe it reads like stereo directions which is why we’re asking to legally have a look at it, it does not make sense,” Burkholder mentioned.

“I simply wish to make it possible for if there’s any type of catastrophe, that cash can be obtainable,” Buyze reiterated.

“We’re taking a look at possibly this 12 months about $74,000 (from landfill host charges) and that is been allotted to roads,” he added.

The landfill host price generated income for the city of $64,939 in 2018-2019, $64,971 in 2019-2020, $71,630 in 2021-2022 and $76,000 in 2022-2023, in response to city data.


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