Apex Clean Energy, the company looking to put a wind farm on Galloo Island in the town of Hounsfield, is looking to Jefferson County for help to make that project happen in the form of a tax deal.
“The sort of funding that would be available from the project would have a material benefit to the school,” project developer Neil Habig said. “As far as the county is concerned, they accrue some revenue as well, there are some jobs.”
The project would bring construction jobs as the wind farm is being built and then three to five permanent jobs for upkeep.
County officials say that might not be enough to agree to a tax deal.
“I’ve said it early on it’s a tough sell to this board, it remains a tough sell,” Legislature Chair Scott Gray said. “There’s got to be a great amount of economic benefits to the community if we’re going to use tax dollars.”
Legislator Pat Jareo, who represents the district where the wind farm would go, agrees the minimal benefits don’t justify tax breaks.
“The number of jobs created by a wind farm is, I’m not going to say is insignificant, but it certainly doesn’t warrant an 80 percent abatement in taxation, that’s for sure,” Jareo said.
While the board has reservations, Gray says there will be more discussion as to the cost and benefits of a tax deal before a final decision is made.
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