PIKE: Large solar farm planned for former Bow Lake Golf Course in Barry
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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
An expansive solar farm is being planned for the east side of the former Bow Lake Golf Course in Barry.
Of the approximately 70 acre golf course, Barry City Administrator Jeff Hogge estimates that the new solar farm will take up at least half of the property.
“This will be a significant one,” Hogge said. “It will be about 35-45 acres in the solar farm. It’s on the east end of the course – the driving range, the 2nd, 1st, 8th, and 7th holes.”
The development of the new solar farm prompted the city to start crafting a new solar ordinance to dictate the parameters of any new solar installations in the future. Hogge said that because the city has no solar ordinance in place, the developers of the golf course property are within their rights to develop the new solar farm.
“They’re free to do it since we don’t have an ordinance,” Hogge said.
Hogge went on to say that further development of the former golf course is still in the planning stages on the part of the developer. Residential and commercial development are both in the works.
“They’re planning on doing single family homes south of the lakes,” Hogge said. “And they’re still planning on doing something commercial on the northwest portion by the travel plaza.”
Currently, Hogge said that residents who wished to install any solar ground units simply needed to abide by the city’s setback ordinances.
Hogge said that the city also plans to install a new welcome sign just south of 106 as cars enter Barry from the interstate. Council members reviewed welcome signs that could be installed.
lso discussed was the issue of garbage pickup in Barry. Hogge said that the city was in the process of sending out prospectuses to trash haulers to haul refuse from Barry residences and businesses.
Barry approved a contract with the County’s Animal Control Warden to provide animal control service for the year. The county’s animal control contracts are based on population and set at $4 per person, so Barry’s cost for the year will be $5,212.
The city also voted to purchase new dirt for the Western Community YMCA baseball field infield.
“The current infield has rocks and all kinds of junk,” Hogge said.
In response, the city purchased 225 tons of groundhog dirt from Callender Construction for $3,735.
“It will make the field much more playable than what we’ve got now,” Hogge said.
The Barry council went on to discuss making it more affordable for businesses with gaming machines to add a ‘Class A’ liquor license when the business already possesses a license to sell packaged liquor.
“We’re looking at something to mirror what the state does,” Hogge said. “We’re looking at a draft ordinance that would charge $400 for package liquor, but then only $100 for the combo ‘Class A’ license.”
Also discussed was the matter of hiring pool management and staff.
“It’s that time of year to start thinking about it again,” Hogge said.
Hogge anticipates many pool staff to return this year, but the city does reimburse new life guards for their training expenses.
“We pay half up front, and, if they stick around the whole season, we pay the rest at the end,” Hogge said.
Additionally, the council went on to pledge a $200 donation to the Western High School after-prom fund, as they have done in the past.
Also, the council discussed the matter of Frank Smith building storage units on his property. There is a question as to whether an alley runs along the property where the storage units are to be built. If the property in question is on an alley, the city will need to provide gravel on the alley.