A case for biofuel

Catawba County's biodiesel research facility officially opened almost a year ago, but one county leader is opposed to spending any more tax dollars on the facility.

"I have voted against funding for the biodiesel research facility because I do not believe that it is a core county function," said County Commissioner Randy Isenhower. "I am not against biodiesel if the private sector wants to do that, but I do not think that it is a county function to get involved in a research facility."

This week during a county commission vote on a mandatory three-year update to Catawba County's 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan, Isenhower voiced his opposition to the biodiesel facility. He cast the lone dissenting vote to the plan. The update passed 4-1.

"That is not to say there is not a lot of other good things going on," he said of the county's EcoComplex and solid waste management operation at the Blackburn Landfill. "The recycling is good. The methane gas being produced and sold is good, but I never thought the county needs to be involved in spending county funds on research and development."

To read more of this story, pick up the weekend print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.