ANTRIM – Selectmen will hold a public hearing Wednesday on a deal for payment instead of taxes between the town and the company proposing a wind energy facility on Tuttle Hill.
Antrim Wind Energy, a subsidiary of Portsmouth-based Eolian Renewable Energy, wants to install 10 turbines.
Under the deal, Eolian would pay the town a set amount instead of having its equipment assessed and taxed. The land would be leased and its owner would still pay taxes.
“When you look at this type of entity, it’s not like a typical home. A home gets assessed based on a number of criteria, and there really isn’t a lot of criteria to assess this type of operation,” said Galen A. Stearns, the town’s administrator.
Such deals are often used with nonprofit groups, but alternative energy generators also qualify. The deal could be ratified Wednesday, Stearns said.
The Tuttle Hill project has stirred up some controversy in town.
After disagreement among officials on the plan, the company and selectmen petitioned the state’s Site Evaluation Committee – a group made up of members from various state agencies – to take control of the project to decide if and how it can move forward.
In August, Eolian indicated the project would be larger than planned – still 10 turbines, but producing more than the 23 megawatts it had expected.
It has said it will file its application for the project with the committee by Jan. 31.
And earlier this month, voters rejected two zoning ordinances proposed by the planning board that would have restricted wind energy development.
u The public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Antrim Town Hall.
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