Following Dennis Rak’s resignation from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency board of directors on Monday, a straight lease transaction was approved for a wind project on the property of his business.
“This 15-year term will allow the company to stabilize their electric rate,” said Kristine Morabito, project manager for the IDA, in reference to Rak’s business, Double A Vineyards in Fredonia.
A state property tax law in 2008 made the installation of energy improvements, such as solar power and windmills, exempt from taxes.
However, Chautauqua County opted out of the law, placing the IDA in charge of negotiations regarding alternative energy should a company want to develop wind energy in the county.
“When the County Legislature opted out of Section 487 of the real property tax law, they wanted to make sure the Industrial Development Agency would help this type of project to receive tax abatement that mirrored what the law said,” said Rich Dixon, chief financial officer of the agency. “The law meant these wind projects would have come in and paid no property tax.”
The program for Rak’s windmill project will exempt any incremental property assessment increase that could have happened as a result of the wind project, but will not exempt him from paying taxes.
The IDA has performed similar programs already with other energy projects.
A state environmental quality review act was performed on the property and determined there would not be a significant impact due to the wind project.
Moving ahead, a positive discussion was held about the agency’s first manufacturing summit, which took place in Mayville on Nov. 12.
Michael Metzger, chairman of the board, said the summit brought customers and suppliers together and spurred business relationships across the county.
In other matters, the reappointment of Kevin Sanvidge to serve as director of the IDA for 2015 was approved.
He was named director in May.
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