Shidler Public School District Worried About Funding After Wind Farm Court Ruling

The Shidler Public School District stands to lose more than a half million dollars a year just in bond payments if the court order to remove a wind farm stands.

Tuesday, February 13th 2024, 6:26 pm



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The Shidler Public School District stands to lose more than a half million dollars a year just in bond payments if the court order to remove a wind farm stands.

Enel Energy’s 84-turbine Osage Wind installation is the most significant single generator of taxes for the district in a town of a few hundred people.

In 2019, Shidler voters passed a $16.82 million bond issue to rebuild the high school with a new cafeteria, kitchen, library, and gym.

The tax passed overwhelmingly, according to Superintendent Rick Rogers, in part because Enel Energy would shoulder about 40% of the cost.

“This is a situation where it harms everybody if we can't figure out a way to make this work,” said Rogers.

Enel’s operation contributes property and sales tax to the community, while Rogers says it voluntarily contributes to other community interests besides the school.

Their contributions, he said, cover concurrent enrollment fees for 10 of their current seniors. “At zero cost to the students, because of the contributions Enel makes to us.”

Superintendent Rogers believes the commitment of taxpayers, made with the support of Enel, gives Shidler students not just a modern school, but a better chance to succeed.

Without the wind farm, the cost would fall completely to other taxpayers in the 580 square mile district - that's mostly pasture.

Related Stories:

  1. Federal Judge Orders Removal Of Wind Farm In Osage County
  2. 'We're Tired Of This': Osage Nation Chief Welcomes Wind Farm Court Ruling
  3. Enel Energy Plans Appeal 'Osage Wind Case' After Judge Orders Wind Farm Removal
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