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Company: Howard Wind project liens removed

Hornell, N.Y. – The liens filed last month against 31 properties in the Town of Howard connected to Howard Wind, LLC. have been removed, a company official announced Monday.

A Steuben County official said early today that the liens “were discharged by bond.”

“We are very pleased to report the liens have been lifted,” said Dan Lagiovane, project communications manager for Howard Wind.

The liens were the result of a dispute between two contractors, McConnell Electric and SPE Utility, who worked on the Howard Wind project. Officials said SPE Utility was a subcontractor on the project, and filed the liens in Steuben County Clerk’s Office on Feb. 17 because of overdue payments on construction work.

“I am very happy we can get this issue resolved,” said Kevin Sheen, senior director of development for EverPower Wind Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Howard Wind. “Our landowners have been fantastic throughout the ordeal but these liens should have never occurred in the first place. Howard Wind never had a contractual relationship with either McConnell Electric or SPE Energy.”

EverPower said the liens are not reflection on the viability of the project, or on the financial standing of the company.

“Howard Wind has met all of its financial obligations to the contractor, the Town of Howard and our landowners,” Sheen said. “These liens should not be interpreted that the project or company is having any financial issues.

“Mechanic’s liens,” the type filed in with the Steuben County clerk on Feb. 17, are a device used by contractors to force payment or resolve a payment dispute following the completion of a construction job. The liens, if not lifted, are good for one year from the date of filing. The property that was subject to the liens in Howard have equipment and materials related to the wind project. Several Howard residents had liens filed against multiple properties.

Dozens of landowners involved in wind energy projects across New York and the U.S. have been hit with mechanic’s liens over the last several months. In many of the cases, the landowners effected have granted easements to wind power companies.