by Logan Gruber
At the Sept. 28 Sauk Rapids City Council meeting, members unanimously approved a solar moratorium that would block any solar use within city limits.
City Administrator Ross Olson said the city has received several requests about solar gardens, and the city wants to collect more information before moving forward.
Generally, solar gardens need to be located near high-capacity power lines and can take up a lot of space. The city notes solar gardens tend to generate much lower taxes for the city than other commercial ventures so the placement of solar gardens is important.
Olson said the city wants to know what regulations are needed and where the best location would be for solar gardens before the city gives the go-ahead.
The approved moratorium is for one year, but Olson says it could be lifted before that.
Area cities, including Sartell and St. Joseph, have already approved lease agreements with solar-garden providers.