He says his opposition to industrial wind turbine projects is “strong,” but William “Bill” Frankart, a candidate for Seneca County Commissioner, has no problem taking checks from one of the companies looking to build those wind farms right here in Seneca County.
Ridge View Farms, owned by Frankart, entered into an agreement with Republic Wind LLC in 2017, Seneca County Auditor records show. Frankart has been collecting checks — in the thousands — from Republic Wind ever since.
In 2019, Frankart’s agreement with Republic Wind LLC was transferred to Buck Springs Wind LLC, another limited liability company set up by Apex Clean Energy.
Apex has kept its plans for the Buck Springs Wind project fairly quiet, but a source familiar with the situation told TiffinOhio.net News that the company set up the additional LLC for a potential separate project in the area.
According to Frankart, he doesn’t see it as a conflict of interest.
“I live and farm within the footprint of a proposed wind project and have an agreement with the wind company,” Frankart said in a statement on his website. “The agreement with the wind company was not entered for my personal gain,” he claims.
Frankart, an Adams Township trustee, said he entered the agreement to “help a neighbor in a tough spot,” adding that he has donated any money from Republic Wind to “support local organizations,” although he didn’t specify which organizations were recipients of his checks from the wind company.
“If there was an opportunity for local citizens to vote on an industrial wind project and the majority were in support, I would then support the development if the concerns of citizens were addressed,” Frankart said.
Republic Wind LLC has proposed to construct up to 47 wind turbines with a total generating capacity of up to 200 megawatts. The facility would be located in Adams, Pleasant, Reed, Scipio, and Thompson townships in Seneca County and York Township in Sandusky County.
Frankart is curently facing off against current Tiffin City Councilman Tyler “Ty” Shuff in the Republican primary election.
Whoever wins the March 17 primary — Frankart or Shuff — will likely cruise to victory in November, as no Democratic candidates filed to run for the seat on the Seneca County Board of Commissioners, currently held by Shayne Thomas, who is running for state representative.