DIXFIELD – Selectmen say it’s not too early to consider the impact of an added $500,000 in revenue that a proposed wind farm would bring, and have scheduled a special meeting on Feb. 9 to look further into the matter.
Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky told the board Monday night that the town no longer has a moratorium, and Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., appears to be moving along on its planned 13-turbine industrial wind project that would be located on the Colonel Holman Mountain ridge line.
“If the project becomes a reality, it could mean $500,000 to $600,000 a year revenue to this town,” Skibitsky said. “That’s an enormous impact and it’s not too early to plan.”
He said the project would increase the town’s $150,000,000 tax base by another $60,000,000.
The board plans to have Matt Eddy, a consultant with Eaton Peabody, come to the special meeting to discuss such things as tax relief and tax increment financing, which is a tool that can provide infrastructure development or tax relief.
“Now’s the time to start thinking about these things. We may want to talk with Patriot, who must show tangible benefits to the town. There’s a world of things out there,” he said.
The board will likely hold monthly workshops devoted exclusively to the multitude of impacts the wind project could have.
Representatives from the state will also be invited to provide tax implications, environmental considerations and other information.
In other matters on Monday, the board approved borrowing $103,000 at a rate of about 1.5 percent over a 20-year period for costs associated with replacing the sewer main that is attached to the Webb River Bridge.
That bridge, which connects Dixfield with Mexico, will be replaced during 2011 and 2012. The sewer main carries sewerage from Dixfield to the treatment plant in Mexico.
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