Torrance County authorized general obligation bonds in the amount of $2.4 million, authorized by voters in August.
County commissioners also made changes to its fire department operations and heard a presentation from another wind energy developer.
The bonds are loans taken out by the county, which would be paid back between 2017 and 2031, according to Erik Harrigan of RBC Capital Markets. Because the bond payments replace a previous payment, county tax rates will not go up or down. The total cost between 2017 and 2031 is “a little over $200,000,” Harrigan said.
The commission approved the bond issue unanimously after a motion by Jim Frost, before moving on to other business.
Torrance County Clerk Linda Jaramillo reported to the county commission a 65.93 percent turnout among registered voters in the county—“record numbers.”
The commission also considered changes to the Fire Department’s Standard Operating Guides, which will mean a larger stipend for those emergency responders. Those volunteers responding to a fire will now get a $15 stipend instead of $10, and emergency medical personnel will get $10 per call instead of $5.
Commissioner Julia DuCharme questioned firefighters presenting the proposed changes at length, until Frost called the question and the changes were unanimously approved.
A presentation by Pattern Energy was preliminary to another wind farm in the county, in early planning stages. About half of the proposed 1,000- to 1,500-megawatt installation would be in Lincoln County.
The project would bring an expected economic impact of $800 million, said Adam Cernea Clark of Pattern Energy, with payments to landowners of $50 million anticipated.
The commission took no action on the matter.