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Update: Putnam County Commissioners vote against Cold Spring, reaction from Berry, Woodall

Putnam County Commissioners vote against Cold Spring Solar Farm land rezone

After a 30-plus minute presentation from Arevon Energy project manager Paul Cozens in front of a packed room Monday morning and plenty of questions, the Putnam County Commissioners voted 2-1 against rezoning 1,200 acres of farmland in Russell Township from Rural Preservation to Natural Resources, which would have paved the way for the solar farm.

Commissioners David Berry made the motion against rezoning the land, while Commissioner Tom Helmer seconded it. Both Berry and Helmer voted against the measure while Commissioner Rick Woodall voted for the rezoning. Woodall was noticeably upset with the vote, saying he disagreed with the motion to keep the land as its current use. 

Berry said his motion and vote could be traced back to the work the Putnam County Plan Commision did and its prior recommendation against the measure. 

Berry, represents District 1, where the proposed solar farm would have been in. He said he had quite a few residents contacted him expressing their opinions leading up to Monday's vote. And, while the solar farm would have been in his district, he said he would have voted the same way regardless of what district it would have been in. 

As for Woodall, he told GIANT FM and The Putnam County Post he voted against the measure because of land owner rights. 

Nick Gentry, spokesman for Arevon, told The Putnam County Post he was unsure what the next step would be in trying to bring a solar farm to Putnam County.

The vote was two months in the making and came on the heels and the talk of the project has been in play since 2022. 

The proposal had not fared well with the Putnam County Board of Zoning Appeals and the Putnam County Plan Commission. 

Last year, the BZA voted against a special exception to the property, and in February, the Putnam County Area Plan Commission denied an application for rezoning with a 6-3 vote. 

The proposed solar farm had received a tax abatement from the county council, and a $6 million economic development agreement with the commissioners, while officials had said Cold Spring Solar Farm would bring in more than $40 million paid in taxes and 214 direct jobs. 






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