A ‘win-win’ for everyone

‘Who’d a thunk it’ my grandpa would have said years ago. Who would have believed 40 or 50 years ago that we would be generating electricity and sending it hundreds of miles away to light up 1,500 households with one windmill’ More importantly for us here in Rochelle, who would have imagined we would be benefiting financially from these windmills’ The prospect of wind turbines in McCulloch County has been the talk of the coffee shops and the board rooms for several months now. Inevitably there will be those ‘agin’ it. There will always be ‘aginners.’They are ‘agin’ everything. These folks will always see the glass half empty, even, sometimes when the cup is almost running over (as in this case). I recently read a letter to the editor from an ‘aginner’ who was ‘agin’ the wind turbines being proposed in another county. The writer several times begged the entities to not jump into something without studying and researching. Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but I think I can speak for all three school districts in our county when I say that extensive research has been done and all things considered. All three school districts utilized a consultant during these negotiations’the premier school finance expert in the state and perhaps the nation. We all three consulted with other districts who have been through this process, and we have weighed the pros and cons of the project including a 28-page economic impact study. This project is truly a ‘win-win’ for all involved. Rochelle ISD will see the smallest amount of revenue because we will have the fewest wind turbines, but the eight or nine wind turbines that we will have in our district will generate for Rochelle School District approximately $70,000 in the first year of operation and near $70,000 per year for many years down the road. Some people may look at $70,000 and not see much money but we see a new school bus or two teacher salaries. Brady ISD and Lohn ISD will benefit to a much greater extent due to the number of wind turbines in their district. I think I can also speak for the other districts when I say ‘thank you’ to the other entities in McCulloch County that stepped up and did what they had to do to get this project off the ground. These entities do not have as much to gain as the school districts or the landowners, but they have been wise enough to realize that if this project is benefiting the school districts and the landowners then it is benefiting the entire county. My only regret is that I don’t own land on a hill in the northwestern part of our school district! *** Everyone is back from the holidays, a little heavier (or a lot) and ready for the second semester which will begin Jan. 22. Our enrollment has actually dropped a little since we came back from the holidays, but we expect it will pick back up when the semester changes. Our Hornets and Lady Hornets have both started district play with wins. The boys and girls dominated the Cherokee boys and girls by 30 points in the first district game of the season. The boys’ final score was 61 to 31 and the girls, 59 to 29. The Hornets are at home Tuesday night facing a very tough Eden team and Friday we travel to Lohn for our third district match up. By the time you read this hopefully the Hornets will be 2-0 in district. The Lady Hornets are ranked 11th in the state in TABC polls and finished in the regional semi-finals last year. We are looking to repeat and hopefully surpass last years run and get our boys into the playoffs for the first time in ten years. We want everyone to come out and fill the stands and back your Hornets! *** There will be no school Jan. 21 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Teachers will have a workday that day and students will get to sleep in. *** Last year Rochelle participated (for the first time) in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life campaign and raised over $3,000 to aid in cancer research. The ‘Rochelle Wranglers’ also won ‘Best Campsite’ and ‘Most Spirited’ at last year’s event. Plans are already under way for this year’s event. If you are interested in being on this year’s team or if you are able to donate to the Relay for Life campaign, call the school at 243-5224 and speak to Claylene Gossett or myself.

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