My family has lived in lower King and Queen County since the 1700s. Today, my family lives on a part of my grandparents’ farm near Cologne, a Century Farm. Open Road Renewables has given me an opportunity to lease one of my tracts to use for a solar project. However, some are opposed to this project, and I’m concerned about my rights as a taxpaying landowner.
Farming has always been financially challenging, even though I farm more than twice the acres that my grandfather did just 20 years ago. My wife is an elementary school teacher and we have two children. Our oldest is going to college this fall.
Once built, the solar project would give us the opportunity to supplement our income to help pay for the $25,000 a year of college expense.
Some people say the solar project will not financially benefit King and Queen County. That’s not true at all. Each year the county receives only real estate taxes from my tract. With this solar project, the county will receive more income and taxes than it does today. Solar power produces no smell, noise or increase in traffic, and uses less pesticides than a traditional farming operation.
The project will benefit our family farm and King and Queen County. As a taxpaying landowner, I should be able to do what I want with my land as long as it’s legal. With all due respect, if someone wants to tell me otherwise, maybe they should pay the real estate taxes on it.
Robert T. Bland IV