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Courtenay Wind Farm one step closer

Stutsman County Social Services staff was honored Tuesday for having the lowest payment error rate among medium-sized counties in North Dakota, an award they received from the North Dakota Department of Human Services. (Kari Lucin/The Jamestown Sun)

Just two administrative hurdles remain for the Courtenay Wind Farm following the Stutsman County Commission’s approval of its road maintenance agreement Tuesday.

In order to move forward, Geronimo Energy will have to place $1 million into an escrow account to cover costs, and it will also have to finalize 911 addresses for all the potential turbine locations involved in the project.

“Then they would have the authorization to proceed,” said Casey Bradley, county auditor/chief operating officer.

According to Bradley, the project could begin sometime within the next month or so, but it will have to wait until spring road restrictions aren’t in place, to prevent road damage.

When complete, the Courtenay Wind Farm will include 100 wind towers, producing 200 megawatts in four townships.

Possible locations for 127 towers have been identified, with 70 in Durham Township, 31 in Courtenay Township, 21 in Gray Township and five in Nogosek Township.

The Stutsman County Commission unanimously approved a road use and maintenance agreement spelling out how the county, the four townships and Courtenay Wind Farm LLC will deal with possible improvements, modifications or damages to the roads in the course of the project.

Bradley praised Geronimo for working with the county and townships throughout the process, which included mapping out every road and determining precisely what will be done with them for wind farm purposes.

“… we’ve had multiple, multiple meetings, hundreds of hours of review and going back and forth between the county, the townships and Geronimo,” Bradley said.

In other news Tuesday, the commission:

* changed the date and time of the annual equalization meeting to 5 p.m. June 5.

* approved a bond for $7.2 million to be used for road improvements near Great River Energy, 40 percent of which will be repaid by GRE and 60 percent by the Spiritwood Energy Park Association.

* approved a bid from Border States Paving to pave portions of Stutsman County 62 and Stutsman County 68 for approximately $4.4 million, 90 percent of which will be paid through funding approved by the North Dakota state Legislature.

* praised Stutsman County Social Services staff for having the lowest payment error rate among medium-sized counties, an award they received from the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

* approved helping funding the North Dakota State College of Science’s Manufacturing Training Center, with the county’s share being $5,000 per year over four years.

* approved participating in the ACT Stutsman County program aimed at increasing skills in the local workforce, which will cost $15,000, of which the city of Jamestown will pay $12,000.

* approved a request for a Flex PACE interest buydown for Custom Contracting Solutions for $40,000, of which the county will pay $32,000. The loan will be paid back.

* approved the purchase of a lot in the I-94 Business Park by Charlie Ricketts and Ben Pesek, who intend to construct a building complex with nine bays for sale or lease.

* approved Stutsman County Highway Department staff working on Fridays as needed, and also approved purchasing new software for that department’s computers for $10,000, with a $1,000 ongoing maintenance cost.

* honored correctional officers at the Stutsman County Correctional Center, as Gov. Jack Dalrymple had announced it was Corrections Employee Week in North Dakota.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by email at