A lease agreement between Northumberland County and an alternative energy company is projected to generate approximately $60,000 revenue annually over a 25-year period.
During Tuesday’s county commissioners’ meeting, a resolution was adopted to enter into an agreement with Penn Wind LLC to construct a wind farm in Coal and East Cameron townships to supply upward of 6 million kilowatts of wind power each year.
Sean Purdy of Sunbury, co-owner and vice president of Penn Wind, said seven turbines will be constructed on the property, with three of the turbines to be located on county property. He said construction of the wind farm is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2008.
Purdy said the lease agreement for the wind energy project should generate roughly $60,000 a year over a 25-year period that will be divided among the county, Shamokin Area School District and Coal and East Cameron townships.
Justin R. Dunkelberger, CEO, Penn Wind, previously told Northumberland County Commissioners that enough wind energy exists at a test site on Mahanoy Mountain to supply power to 5,200 homes.
Penn Wind and the Pennsylvania Game Commission reached an agreement Sept. 28 designed to protect the state’s wildlife resources from the development of wind energy.
The agreement sets forth standards to minimize and potentially mitigate any adverse impacts the development of wind energy may have on the state’s wildlife resources.
Similar projects already exist in Mahanoy Township in Schuylkill County, Wilkes-Barre and Somerset.
In other business, commissioners approved collective bargaining agreements with the Teamsters union representing court-appointed professional employees and assistant district attorneys, assistant public defenders and special counsel employees.
The agreements call for an overall 3.5-percent salary increase for court-appointed professional employees from Jan. 1, 2007, to Dec. 31, 2009, and assistant district attorneys, assistant public defenders and special counsel employees from Jan. 1, 2008, to Dec. 31, 2010.
The increases will be based on employees’ years of service to the county.
The commissioners appointed county treasurer Ronald Chamberlain to the Northumberland County Authority for a three-year term, effective Jan. 1, 2008. Chamberlain’s appointment will increase membership on the authority to five.
After hearing a request at the beginning of the meeting by county Commissioner-elect Vinny Clausi to delay the reappointment of individuals to boards whose terms expire Dec. 31, the commissioners tabled reappointments to the SEDA-COG Board of Directors and the county’s housing authority, airport authority, affordable housing fund board and recreation commission.
Clausi, who won election to the board in November and will be sworn into office Jan. 7, said the current board should allow the incoming commissioners to make the appointments. He also claimed it was illegal to reappoint individuals whose terms expire at the end of the month.
The board also authorized the payment of $426,450.49 to county retirees for health and welfare benefits.
By Mark Gilger
5 December 2007
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