• Last modified 842 days ago (May 31, 2018)


Wind farm brings 100s to county

Staff writer

Hundreds of workers have converged on the county to build the Diamond Vista wind farm project along 330th Rd. west of Tampa.

Road construction and dirt work crews are bolstering roads for hauling of heavy wind turbine parts and making foundations for turbines.

Workers are staying at campgrounds, motels, and houses throughout the county when not working their 12-hour shifts.

Bennie Lamb, a general foreman for RES, an international company doing roadwork and foundation work at Diamond Vista, is one of seven workers staying at an RV park owned by Marion VFW. When not on a construction project, Lamb lives in Buffalo Gap, Texas.

“We build all the roads and dig the holes and we pour concrete and then the turbines will come in,” Lamb said.

His 270 coworkers on this job hail from Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Minnesota, and many other states, Lamb said. All will be here until the project is completed, probably in December.

RES employees are expected to be mindful that they are guests of the communities where they do projects, he said.

“You know, you have a lot of companies that come in and are big hell-raisers,” Lamb said. “We’ll have none of that. RES wants to be involved in communities we’re in. We’re visitors here, and they like to have it so people say they’d like to have RES back.”

Toward that goal, employees look for a community project they can undertake wherever they work.

“They have meetings every morning, and people bring in ideas for what they might want to do,” Lamb said.

Lamb said Marion residents who see RES workers can make project suggestions.

“It’s what the community approaches our people with,” Lamb said.

At the last community where his crew worked, RES employees installed a flagpole at the post office, repaired a helicopter landing pad, held a large golf tournament to raise money for people who needed chemotherapy but couldn’t afford it, and established scholarships for kids who wanted to go to summer camp.

Not only is service important, Lamb said, so is safety.

“The RES motto is, ‘Everyone goes home safe at night,’” he said.

Lamb said the workers staying in Marion liked to spend weekend fishing. He’s already visited the county lake and liked it.

Last modified May 31, 2018