ORANGEVILLE – The Orangeville Town Board has approved a host community agreement which would increase town revenues dramatically.
The agreement with Stony Creek Energy – a subsidiary of the Chicago-based Invenergy – was approved at Thursday’s Town Board meeting.
When combined with a separate Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreement, the town would receive about $667,000 annually for 20 years.
The agreement also includes an escalation clause meaning the town’s annual payment would increase based on the rate of inflation. All told, the payments would total more than $16 million to Orangeville over two decades.
The wind farm project is still in the application process and would still need to be approved.
“I am very pleased we have reached a Host Community Agreement that provides millions of dollars in direct economic benefits to the town,” said Town Supervisor Susan May in a news release.
“I and my fellow town board members have remained steadfast in our efforts to negotiate an agreement that would provide the best possible deal for the town, significant long-term economic benefits, and guaranteed tax payments for Orangeville taxpayers. This agreement does exactly that and will benefit every single resident in our town with sustained tax relief, reconstructed town roads, and improved town services.”
Stony Creek Energy – a subsidiary of the Chicago-based Invenergy – would also be responsible for reconstructing 7.5 miles of town roads and subsurface repairs after the project was built, which May said would be worth $750,000.
A total of $120,000 in PILOT payments would also be shared by Warsaw and Attica central schools, and Wyoming County.
May said the host agreement will give the town a great deal of flexibility of prioritizing its future budget needs, as state mandates and operating expenses increase steadily.
“The Stony Creek Wind Farm is far and away the largest economic development project in our town’s history,” May said in the release. “It not only provides significant and direct economic benefits to the town and its taxpayers, but it will result in hundreds of construction jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to local businesses and vendors during these very difficult economic times.”
She thanked Town Attorney David DiMatteo, Wendy Marsh, the Wendel Duscher and Stantec engineering firms, and Orangeville’s town board and residents, whatever their views on the project.
The Stony Creek Wind Farm would include 59 wind turbines with a generating capacity of 1.6 megawatts each.
The project has proven controversial within the town. The Clear Skies Over Orangeville group opposes it, and is appealing a State Supreme Court decision, which dismissed its lawsuit seeking to overturn the town’s 2009 zoning amendments, which set the rules for turbine development.
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