The new agreement for Solar Sources to continue to mine along County Road 750 West near Portersville has some stipulations to protect property near the mining area.

Solar Sources is looking to get started in the new area, which is north along the county road, this fall. The agreement states that the company must be done with its work in one year, County Highway Supervisor Steve Berg said.

“They have to open the road within a year from the anticipated date of closure,” Berg said. “But the agreement itself is for five years. We’re going to allow some time for things to resettle before they repave that road.”

Berg is waiting for Solar Sources to give him the surety bond for the project. When that is in place, the company will get the signed agreement, he said.

This new agreement was discussed for a few months, particularly because of the problems the county has had with the work.

County Road 750 West was damaged due to coal mining work; a section of the road closed to traffic because of a hole that has formed on the side of the road. Also, the county has received several complaints from people living near the road about mud and debris being tracked through intersections with county roads 580 North and 450 North, which residents use to get to and from their homes. County highway officials reached out to the company earlier this year about the problems. After no resolution, the Dubois County Commissioners sent a letter to the company demanding that it take care of problems.

The new agreement allows Solar Sources to continue working for another year along County Road 750 West to the road’s intersection with Portersville Road West. Crews must work 200 feet away from the road’s centerline. The concern is possible damage to the road as well as Portersville Road West, where the historic Lemmons Church and Cemetery are located.

Solar Sources will repair the road; cover road resurfacing costs, pay local landowners if the company uses some of their land, and pay some property taxes.

At their meeting last week, the commissioners approved this new agreement 2 to 1; Commissioner Chad Blessinger voted against it. He has stated before that he would prefer the company to fix the damage to County Road 750 West “and we part ways.”

The other commissioners felt that the agreement should be approved, partly to make sure the damage to 750 West is repaired properly instead of quickly. Commissioner Elmer Brames has said that he doesn’t want a quick repair to become a problem for the county in the future.
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