An Invenergy representative made a pitch Wednesday to get Streator enterprise zone benefits for the second phase of the wind energy company’s La Salle County project.
Michael Arndt, senior development manager for Chicago-based Invenergy, addressed the Streator City Council in a committee of the whole meeting, outlining the rural Grand Ridge project’s second phase and explaining why the company wants that part of the project included in the Streator enterprise zone.
The first phase of the Grand Ridge wind farm, which is being constructed, includes 66 wind turbines that are included in Ottawa’s enterprise zone. About 40 of those turbines are erected and all 66 are expected to be online in October, Arndt said.
The proposed second phase calls for 100 additional wind turbines that stretch south and bring the project within two miles of Streator city limits.
“The majority of this phase is just a few miles from Streator,” Arndt said.
Construction of the second phase would begin late this year or early next year, with operation expected about a year later, he said.
The second phase of the project is expected to create 100 to 160 construction jobs for six to nine months and 15 to 25 full-time jobs, Arndt said.
Inclusion in the enterprise zone would exempt the project from sales and use taxes. Invenergy will reimburse La Salle and Livingston counties for any sales tax that is foregone as a result of being in the enterprise zone, though it likely wouldn’t be much money because most materials are purchased from out of the area, Arndt said.
Invenergy is not asking for a property tax exemption.
Ed Benner was the only council member to express his opinion about the project, saying he supports extending enterprise zone benefits to it.
A decision on the matter is likely to be made next month.
8 May 2008
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