EASTBROOK – Blue Sky East’s offer to give $20,000 annually to Eastbrook in recognition of the town’s proximity to a proposed wind farm sounded like a pretty good deal to many residents. Others gathered for a public hearing April 20 questioned whether there was such a thing as “free money.”
Blue Sky East, a subsidiary of wind developer First Wind, has applied to the state Land Use Regulation Commission to build a 34-megawatt, $78.5-million wind farm on Bull Hill and Heifer Hill in Township 16.
State law requires Blue Sky provide a community benefits package with a value of at least $4,000 per year per turbine to the host community or communities.
Technically, Hancock County is the host community because the 19-turbine project is in unorganized territory.
Project Manager Dave Fowler said Blue Sky has met the minimum requirement by offering $76,000 a year to the Hancock County commissioners.
He said the proposed contribution to Eastbrook goes “above and beyond” what the company is required to do.
“Even though I didn’t need to do this, it is what I thought was proper to do,” Fowler said.
“It was what I could afford in the project.”
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