Lawmakers in Jefferson County are about to get a crash course in wind farms and the revenue they generate.
Tomorrow, the Board of Legislators will meet with Syracuse attorney Kevin McAuliffe, who specializes in payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements relating to wind projects.
Because there are a number of wind farm proposals in the county, lawmakers are looking into ways PILOT programs can be structured.
In any PILOT deal with a wind farm developer, money is paid to the county, school districts and municipalities where the turbines are located.
Legislature Chairman Ken Blankenbush said he’d like to see a uniform PILOT deal – a one-size-fits-all package for every wind company.
He wants the payment split to be evenly.
Blankenbush represents Watertown, where you probably won’t ever see a windmill.
Meanwhile, Mike Docteur represents Clayton and Cape Vincent. Developers have approached those two towns about building wind farms.
“It would be nice to have one cookie-cutter type approach for wind farm development, but…the cost of putting up a turbine in the town of Clayton on relatively flat land next to highways is fairly easy compared to putting a turbine up on say Galloo Island where the logistics are much more complicated. Therefore, that turbine company would have much more revenue or profit that…they would have to share through the PILOT program,” said Docteur (R. – District 1).
The meeting will be held by the county’s Finance and Rules Committee.
Blankenbush said it will be way for all lawmakers to educate themselves on the PILOT process and discuss the pros and cons of various deals.
4 February 2008
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