The county has been negotiating with Sentinex LLC to build the 40-kilowatt solar farm, which would be the largest in Georgia, at the former landfill.
In the absence of Commission Chairman Alvin Long, who is on vacation, Vice Chairman Judy Bailey asked for a motion to accept the grant, but no motion was made.
A motion by Becky Hood to turn down the grant, which was seconded by Richard Gordon, failed when it got only two votes. Bailey and Commissioner George Townsend did not vote for Hood’s motion, which needed three votes to pass.
Hood said she could not see accepting a $300,000 grant, which promised to return only $11,000 a year to the county, in the current economy.
Gordon said he was wary of building anything on a closed landfill because of the potential for pollution, such as happened in New York in the 1970s when homes were built over the former Love Canal toxic landfill.
The deadline for accepting the GEFA grant was Tuesday, said County Administrator Randy Dowling.
“I’ll have to notify GEFA that we took no action tonight,” Dowling said. “I will find out tomorrow (Wednesday) if the deadline can be extended until our July 6 meeting.”
Jeff Stubbs, who was at the meeting representing Sentinex, said the commission’s failure to act only delays his company’s plans.
Stubbs said Sentinex had planned to partner with North Georgia EMC to build the solar farm to produce electricity. Gordon County would get about $11,000 a year from the sale of power, but Stubbs said that amount would increase as electric rates go up over the next 10 years.