Stockholders vote against leasing land for wind turbines – Company official says NextEra still interested in project
The Germantown Fair Company stockholders have voted against leasing land to a company proposing to erect wind turbines in Mason and Bracken counties.
That information was confirmed late Tuesday afternoon by Jerry Tolle, who just ended his two-year tenure as president of the fair board on Friday.
Tolle said the vote was taken during last Thursday’s stockholder meeting, but he didn’t have the exact vote count available when interviewed and deferred that question to LuAnn Asbury, secretary of the fair company. When asked if the vote was 98 in favor to three against, as reported by two sources to The Ledger Independent, Tolle said he thought the vote was split differently from that number.
Asbury, who was in Hazard Tuesday, said “no, I don’t think so,” and “it was overwhelming … that’s all you need to know,” when asked if she could confirm the vote total by stockholders.
“It was 90-something to four, I can tell you,” said Asbury.
However, the vote may have been a moot point if rumors are true that the project has been pulled by NextEra Energy Resources.
Tolle said it was a “full house” for Thursday’s meeting and when he contacted a NextEra employee about the stockholders decision on Friday, he was told employees on the Maysville project were being laid off and “they have pulled out of the Maysville area.”
Tolle said NextEra sent a letter to the fair company in the summer and then followed up at the September meeting with its proposal for the project. Tolle said he was told to expect another letter from NextEra, following his contact with company officials Friday.
When contacted Tuesday afternoon, Mason County Judge-Executive James L. “Buddy” Gallenstein said he had heard rumors “to that effect,” but he has heard nothing from NextEra Project Manager Adam Rickel, and said Rickel would be the best person to contact.
Maysville-Mason County Industrial Authority Director Gene Weaver was also contacted Tuesday afternoon and said he had talked with Rickel Monday night. Weaver said he was advised by Rickel that NextEra is still doing studies in Mason and Bracken counties, but the company is focused on three or four projects scheduled for 2011 and 2012.
Although Rickel didn’t return a phone call placed by The Ledger Independent, the following was received from Steve Stengel, director of communications for NextEra Energy Resources via email.
“Adam Rickel reached out to me and asked that I respond to your question about the status of our Maysville Wind Project. If you’re wondering, Adam is out of pocket this afternoon so that it why I’m responding. Not sure what you heard or who you heard it from, but we have not cancelled our Maysville wind project. We continue to be interested in this project and are collecting wind data. Hope that helps.”
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