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Allegany Town Board member won’t step aside on wind issue

In Sunday’s edition of the Olean Times Herald, I was targeted in a full page ad taken out by unnamed supporters of the Allegany Wind Project proposed for the Chipmonk area of our community.

While they professed to give you “facts,” it is indeed unfortunate that they were not in a position to know the real story. Please allow me to share the actual facts with you now.

In August of this year, Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County (CCCC) decided to end their lawsuit against EverPower and the town of Allegany. Both CCCC and the town signed appropriate paperwork, but EverPower refused to do so. In other words, EverPower elected to continue the lawsuit against itself.

On more than one occasion, EverPower has attempted to get the Allegany Town Board to renegotiate the terms and conditions of the current agreement. I can assure you that the terms and conditions EverPower proposed were not as advantageous to the town as the terms and conditions of the current agreement.

The town board has elected to stay with the existing agreement, much to EverPower’s dissatisfaction.

According to the contract, EverPower was to pay the town an advance payment of $500,000, and these funds have been in escrow since December of 2011. The payment would have been due sooner, but was not released due to the CCCC lawsuit.

The lawsuit ended Sept. 6 and payment was then due by Sept. 20. EverPower failed to make the payment, and the town board advised them they had breached the contract.

After the board refused to renegotiate the agreements (and surrender the financial benefits EverPower promised the town), and after the town board advised EverPower of its breach of contract, EverPower filed a lawsuit against the town.

Additionally, according to the contract, EverPower was to pay its initial annual host fee of $285,000 to the town “beginning on the Commercial Operation Date, but no later than October 15, 2012.” To date, the town has not received payment and EverPower is once again in breach of the contract.

The call by pro-wind supporters, and also by EverPower in its lawsuit, for me to recuse myself is ill-advised and unfounded. I will continue to represent the people of the town of Allegany to the best of my ability and I will not be silenced by this blatant attack.

I am absolutely overwhelmed by the incredible outpouring of support I have received since the ad ran, and I thank everyone for their encouragement and kind words. The residents of Allegany are indeed wonderful and caring people. And that’s a fact.

(Mr. Koebelin is a member of the Allegany Town Board.)