Fiscal court wants solar farm permit reconsidered photo

McCracken County Fiscal Court met via Zoom on Monday and discussed how to move forward with a proposed solar energy farm after McCracken County Solar was denied a conditional use permit in a board of adjustment meeting last Wednesday, as reported by The Sun.

Commissioner Eddie Jones introduced a motion supporting a move to request assistance from McCracken County Attorney Sam Clymer to prepare a motion on behalf of the fiscal court, asking the McCracken County Board of Adjustment to reconsider McCracken County Solar’s conditional use permit. The motion passed 2-0. Commissioner Bill Bartleman was absent from the meeting.

The conditional use permit would allow McCracken County Solar to operate a Level 2 Solar Energy System, also referred to as a solar farm, in the county.

“I believe there is a place in McCracken County for solar farms,” Jones said.

The fiscal court held most of its discussion related to solar farms in executive session, not open to the public or media. This session took place for about an hour and 30 minutes. Jones introduced his motion after the executive session concluded.

The meeting was moved to executive session under KRS Section 61.810, which addresses exceptions to open meetings. Judge-Executive Craig Clymer cited one paragraph, which reads, “discussions between a public agency and a representative of a business entity and discussions concerning a specific proposal, if open discussions would jeopardize the siting, retention, expansion, or upgrading of the business.”

The judge-executive said he felt he had more information on the importance of the solar farm project than the board of adjustment did. He said bringing a solar farm to McCracken County was “extremely important,” and alluded to a “multi-billion-dollar company,” which Clymer did not disclose the name or nature of, that would be interested in being in the county with the presence of a solar farm.

“With the Biden administration and federal government’s incentive for green energy…for tax credits and other incentives, for investors and projects to partake in, …it could make or break a huge project coming here into McCracken County,” Clymer said.

Present in the meeting include Chris Killenberg, a regional development director for Community Energy who presented the application and attended three board of adjustment meetings on behalf of McCracken County Solar; and Greg Cannon, county planning and zoning administrator.

In other fiscal court business:

  • The fiscal court adopted an ordinance creating and enacting a new open records policy section to the McCracken County Administrative Code. Clymer said this ordinance adopts guidance and language as recommended by the Office of the Attorney General.
  • Commissioners approved a transfer of $37,752.24 from the Transient Room Tax Escrow fund to the city of Paducah for bond payment on the Convention Center and Carson Center Series 2020B GOB.

Follow Hannah Saad on Twitter, @ByHannahSaad or on Facebook at

Follow Hannah Saad on Twitter, @ByHannahSaad or on Facebook at

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