KEYSER – After requesting two weeks ago that the county’s proposed escrow agreement with U.S. Wind Force be made public before the Mineral County Commissioners make it official, Frankfort District resident Kolin Jan was back before the county commission on Tuesday to see if the elected officials plan to honor his request.
“Before the commission signs the agreement, will that agreement be made available to the public?” he asked, noting that he feels the public has a right to know what is included in the agreement, which directs how much money will be set aside for the purpose of decomissioning, or dismantling, of the wind farm once it has exceeded its useful life.
U.S. Wind Force had presented the commissioners with a draft of the agreement on Nov. 23.
Tuesday, Commission President Wayne Spiggle – in the last meeting of his six-year term – said the draft document was turned over to attorneys with Steptoe & Johnson for examination.
“All three commissioners, and the county coordinator, were sufficiently concerned
about the draft copy that was placed before us that we elected to consult Steptoe & Johnson,” he explained.
“And we’re glad we did, because our misgivings have substance.”
Jan therefore also asked if the “mark up” of the agreement – the draft copy complete with comments made by Steptoe & Johnson – would be made public.
“The draft proposal given to us by Wind Force was done so in a public forum and should be available to the public,” Spiggle said.
“The mark up, however, is still in correspondence form.”
“Our attorney said it’s in the process now and we can’t discuss anything,” Commissioner Cindy Pyles said.
“There is a dialogue going back and forth between attorneys and that’s all I can say.”
“But before the commission signs the agreement, will that agreement be available to the public?” Jan pressed.
“We’ll follow the advice of our attorney,” Pyles answered.
“We have to do what he tells us,” Commissioner Janice LaRue said, adding, however, that she does feel the final agreement should be made public.
“I hope that you do make it public,” Spiggle told his fellow commissioners, noting that, if the contents of the agreement are not made public, “then I’ll be here on that side of the room,” indicating the area in which the audience is seated for the commission meetings.
Jan told the commissioners he “would be very disappointed” if his request for public availability is ignored.
“Will I get a reply?” he asked.
“As soon as we get an answer, we’ll give you an answer,” LaRue told him.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding