Chairman Bryan Tomm welcomed members and visitors to the 74th annual White County Soil and Water on Feb 6 at the Carmi Fairgrounds.

Tomm went over events and news from the past year and thanked the sponsors.

Charlie Nolan took charge of the election of directors for the White County Soil and Water. Nolan nominated three individuals: Brandon Barbre, Bryan Tomm and Kent Williams. With no nominations from the floor, Barbre, Tomm and Williams were re-elected to serve two-year terms.

Bill Edwards introduced the poster winners for the 2020 contest, "Where Would We BEE Without Pollinators?": Grace Eisenhauer, Kindergarten at NCO; Lanie Garrett, First Grade at NCO; Violet Barbre, Second Grade at Carmi; County Best in K-3 Hadley Douglass, Third Grade at NCO; County Best in 4-5 Callie Gentles, Fourth Grade at Booth; Finlee Hite, Fifth Grade at NCO.

The White County Soil and Water board recognized district employees: Jewel Brooks for 25 years and Debbie Gray for 35 years.

Vice-Chairman Laura Whitsitt presented the 2019 Conservation award to John Pat Dartt. 

Sarah Carroll, with Invenergy, was the guest speaker for the event. Carroll has been working as the Renewable Development Analyst for six months and focuses on wind and solar energy development in Illinois and Missouri.

Invenergy is a leading, privately-held global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions.

"The project is Northwest Carmi, just out 64, so that's Burnt Prairie Township", said Carroll when talking about the location of where they'd like to put solar power facility in White County.

Carroll included that Invenergy has been searching for 1,750 acres to build the facility in Burnt Prairie.

The development would start this year, and operation intended to begin in 2020. 

"The property tax investment into the community over the lifetime of this project will be over 25 million dollars invested into the community. We had an assessment done early on, and the greatest taxing body that will benefit is the Carmi District Five School and White County, ambulances, police, and roads will also benefit”, stated Carroll.

Chairman Tomm concluded the annual meeting and started the door prizes that were generously donated by AutoZone, DiMaggio's Pizza, Martin & Bayley/ Hucks, O'Daniel Trucking and many more.