Both the Johnson County Commissioners and the Buffalo City Council have agreed to lend support for an energy company to develop a coal/gas to liquids plant at Lake DeSmet, after drafting and approving a letter that will be sent to the Lake DeSmet Counties Coalition Joint Powers Board.
County Commissioner Smokey Wildeman explains what the letter of support is about.
The meeting last week included a presentation by Nerd Gas to the county and city officials and selected others to show feasibility of a proposed plant at the lake and give a probable timeline should the project be deemed feasible.
No decision has been made by the company, and the process is still in the information-gathering stage, but they said local support was crucial for the project to be considered.
Both local entities, after the presentation, were at least willing to look at the possibility of having the plant built and gather more information about the project.
The final decision on the project likely won't be made for a number of years, according to Nerd Gas officials.
The letter was addressed to the Lake DeSmet Counties Coalition JPB, and was signed by both the city council and the county commission:
"Gentlemen: A public meeting was recently held to educate citizens and gather support for a proposed energy conversion facility in the Lake DeSmet area. The City of Buffalo and Johnson County support and are committed to industrial development in our area. We believe that responsible industrial development can bring much needed economic vitality to this region and benefit its citizens.
"We encourage the Lake DeSmet Counties Coalition JPB to support and commit to this and any other industrial request for water rights under the coalition's control. We genuinely believe responsible development
is critical in enhancing our community.
"We are more than willing to answer any questions you may have regarding this correspondence, and will make ourselves available should you wish to discuss this matter further. We look forward to working with you to enhance the economic environment in this region."