The proposed 140-megawatt solar power plant in Bloomfield Township being proposed by North Carolina-based SunEnergy1 Company, could be a financial boon to the Oak Hill Union Local School District. It would also generate income for several other taxing entities in Jackson County.

During the Oak Hill Area Chamber of Commerce Meeting held Monday, Nov. 8,  Jackson County Economic Development Partnership President/CEO Sam Brady provided some of those proposed revenue numbers. Jackson County Commissioner Paul Haller joined him. They shared some information about a trip to North Carolina they took to see a SunEnergy1-completed project.

The proposed Dixon Run Solar Project involves the planned construction on 2,082 acres of agricultural land. The project must first be approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board and the power generated would all go to one investor. Brady stated there is a major electric transmission line near the A&A Truck Stop that is not transporting much extra power and that is one of the reasons the company is attracted to the site.

Brady noted there have been complaints from some neighboring landowners. He says from what they saw in North Carolina, “no one knows the operation is even there, it is quiet solar panels that make little if any noise.”

Commissioner Haller stated at the proposed Bloomfield Township site there may be a few panels that can be seen from the highway, but predicted that few people will notice them. He also made it clear this project is not connected to the one the Chicago-based Invenergy Corporation is planning in Vinton County.

The following  annual payment estimates are based on 140 megawatts of generation and in part tabulated by the Jackson County Auditor’s Office. The Oak Hill Union Local Schools would collect $511,511.47 with the bulk of it $396,780.49, going to the Current Expenses levy which are unrestricted funds for the district. Other school tax line items are the: OHLSD General Fund ($71,707.32); Permanent Improvement ($23,932,44); Classroom Facilities ($11,951.23); and Bond Fund ($7,170.73).

 At the county level, the General Fund is projected to see a $76,487.81 annual increase. Many other county, regional and township agencies would see healthy increases as well. There will also be a good boon to business as an estimated 300 construction jobs will be created along with 20 permanent jobs. The proposed project would be the first one that SunEnergy1 Company has planned in Ohio. Commissioner Haller stated it appears to be a good project while Oak Hill Chamber President Kurtis Strickland added this would be good for the Oak Hill schools and their students.

In other news from the Nov. 8 Chamber meeting:

* Strickland also ask everyone to remember the Christmas in the Park Celebration which will include a parade and activities in Central Memorial Park on Saturday, Dec. 4.

* A tribute to former Chamber member and long-term businesses owner Marvin Payne is posted on the Chamber’s Facebook Page. Payne, who operated a KFC restaurant in Oak Hill for many years, died recently at the age of 87.

The next meeting of the Oak Hill Chamber of Commerce will be Monday, Dec. 13 at the Liberty Community Theatre and will also double as the annual Christmas Party.