WATERTOWN – County economic development officials are preparing for a potential review of Apex Clean Energy’s payment-in-lieu-of-taxes application by the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency.
JCIDA Treasurer Robert E. Aliasso Jr. announced Thursday that the agency’s loan-review committee will meet July 25 and decide whether the developer’s PILOT application for its Galloo Island Wind Project is ready for the agency’s board of directors’ review or if the committee needs additional information.
The committee had questions sent to the developer following its May meeting, and Mr. Aliasso, who serves as committee chairman, said members will discuss the developer’s answers at the July meeting.
“We really need to keep this thing moving along,” he said.
One of the questions Mr. Aliasso said the committee asked Apex Clean Energy was whether it intends to include the 30-mile underwater transmission cable for its 108.9-megawatt project in its application. The committee previously considered having the developer create a separate application for the transmission cable.
“It would greatly complicate the PILOT,” Mr. Aliasso said about the cable, adding it’s proposed to run through “two counties, four towns and three school districts.”
The JCIDA also made financial preparations for a potential PILOT application review in its 2017-2018 budgets, which the JCIDA board adopted Thursday.
Lyle V. Eaton, chief financial officer for the Jefferson County Local Development Corp., said the JCIDA budgeted $25,000 in its expense budget and $25,000 in its revenue because, according to JCLDC CEO Donald C. Alexander, the agency requested $25,000 up front toward the overall administrative costs for a potential application review.
“And we established the same thing on legal,” Mr. Eaton said, adding that Apex Clean Energy is solely responsible for legal fees for having its application reviewed.
Paul J. Warneck, a JCIDA board member, said the agency should not incur any expenses toward reviewing the PILOT application until the developer provides the $25,000.
“It should be their expense for our review,” he said.
The JCIDA incurred more than $100,000 in expenses for previously establishing a PILOT agreement for Upstate N.Y. Power Corp.’s iteration of a wind energy facility on Galloo Island, Mr. Alexander said. Upstate N.Y. Power paid the agency about $100,000, but it was not enough to pay for all administrative costs.
“The developer, by the way, was trying to be accommodating. This process took so long that he lost his funding and he couldn’t bring that project to fruition,” Mr. Alexander said. “He was doing what he could to help defray the costs we had already incurred.”
Apex Clean Energy submitted its preliminary PILOT application in August, but submitted its revised application for review in either December or January. It’s planning to build 30 turbines, with each 3.6-megawatt turbine just under 600 feet tall, on the island for its wind energy facility.
The JCLDC and Jefferson County Civic Facility Development Corp. Thursday also adopted their 2017-18 fiscal year expense and income budgets.
The budgets for each agency are as follows:
■ $1,283,928 for the JCIDA’s 2017-18 fiscal year expense budget.
■ $1,283,928 for the JCIDA’s 2017-18 fiscal year revenue budget.
■ $1,041,317 for the JCLDC’s 2017-2018 expense budget.
■ $1,045,000 for the JCLDC’s 2017-18 fiscal year revenue budget.
■ $375 for the JCCFDC’s 2017-18 fiscal year budget for expenses.
■ $2,251 for the JCCFDC’s 2017-18 budget for revenue.
“I’m always glad to get them finalized and approved by the boards,” Mr. Eaton said.
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