Under an agreement to be considered by county council tonight (Thursday), Dufferin Wind Power Inc. (DWPI) is prepared to pay an initial $1.4-million for a rail corridor easement to accommodate its proposed 230-kilovolt transmission line from the wind farm in Melancthon to Hydro One’s Orangeville transformer station where it would connect to the provincial grid.
One half of the total would be paid upon execution of the agreement. The other half would be when the easement has been registered.
“DWPI agrees to pay compensation in the form of a one-time fee payment of $700,000 on execution of the agreement. There will also be a community contribution payment in the amount of $700,000 upon registration of the easement and approval of the necessary permits from the County,” reads a report by County CAO Sonya Pritchard.
“The community contribution may be used for projects that Council considers appropriate. DWPI is to be publicly recognized for the financial contribution to the chosen project.”
There are additional payments to be made during the life of the easement agreement. There is also a section dealing with securities as well as with termination options.
“Two different sections were added to deal with early termination. The County may terminate the agreement at either the 25th or 35th anniversary of the agreement if the line is no longer being used to transmit electricity from the DWPI project or if DWPI has been persistently in default of the agreement. In addition, specific language was added to ensure that the County has the option to terminate the agreement should the ap- proval for the project be revoked,” Ms. Pritchard says.
The proposed agreement comes at the 11th hour, as DWPI’s application for leave to expropriate is scheduled for a pre-hearing next Tuesday, Feb. 18.
It also comes at a time when Melancthon resident Dennis Sanford is seeking a judicial review of the Environmental Review Tribunal’s decision to uphold DWPI’s renewable energy approval.
On securities to guarantee DWPI’s compliance with terms of the easement agreement, there is to be an immediate cash payment of $500,000 and then an additional $100,000 at each fifth anniversary until a total deposit of $1-million has been attained.
DWPI would be required to provide comprehensive liability insurance coverage of $10-million.
Under the proposed agreement, the county is requiring that DWPI take full responsibility for remediation of “disturbance of pre-existing pollutants during the work being performed by DWPI.”
There are several surveys required prior to construction, including topographic survey, geotechnical survey, and an inventory and review of existing culverts, among other things.
DWP would be responsible for notification to the county, residents and key trail users during construction.
If the rail bed is disturbed during construction, DWPI is required to restore it to at least its original condition.
There is to be a summary of slope stability, and an assurance that the corridor would be accessible to ambulances and other emergency vehicles.
Also required would be consultation with snowmobile and ATV clubs for installation of gates, and there is a requirement for appropriate sections.
This evening’s discussion is expected to be highly detailed as the line would cross three municipalities – Amaranth, Melancthon and Shelburne – all of which have indicated opposition to either the line or to the overhead portions, or to both.
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