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Falmouth Finance Committee recommends Town Meeting warrant articles  

The committee recommended $178,000 to close out a portion of a loan from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to build Wind 1. The town borrowed approximately $5 million to construct the turbine. While this total is non-negotiable, approximately $1 million of it was to be paid back to the Clean Energy Center in the form of renewable energy certificates from Wind 1. “Since we have a contract that does require us to pay renewable energy credits if a court order shuts down the wind turbine, as there now is, this is the limit of our liability on that $1 million loan,” committee member Peter J. Hargraves said. He acknowledged the town still has $4 million in debt relating to the project. This article specifically pertains to debt that was to be paid back through renewable energy certificates.

Credit:  By Brad Cole | The Falmouth Enterprise | Feb 9, 2018 | www.capenews.net ~~

In addition to its ongoing budget deliberations, the Falmouth Finance Committee began voting to recommend warrant articles to Town Meeting on Tuesday, February 6.

In total, the committee recommended seven articles totaling $2,047,095. More than half of this, $1,032,079, is recommended for the town’s capital improvement stabilization fund. Committee member Mary Harris said it is the same amount added as last year.

The same is true of the committee’s vote to recommend $440,000 for the general stabilization fund and $100,000 for the other post-employment benefits trust fund.

The town has $500,000 in this other post-employment benefits trust fund. Ms. Harris said the town’s other post-employment benefits liability is approximately $120 million.

“This assumes what you’d have to pay out if the town went out of business,” Ms. Harris said. “Unless we go out of business, we will never have to pay anything out of that.”

However, having such a trust fund can improve the town’s bond rating, she said. Therefore, the committee recommends continuing to fund this item.

The committee also recommended allotting $100,000 toward the workers compensation trust fund, which Ms. Harris described as “a fund we actually use.”

The town has approximately $50,000 in the fund, as well as a stop-loss insurance policy should workers compensation costs exceed these expectations.

“We don’t need a lot of money in this stabilization fund,” she said.

The committee unanimously voted to support alloting $166,000 toward the Coonamesset River Restoration Project. This is 25 percent of a matching grant, which will be used to restore the river up to John Parker Road, as well as install a culvert underneath the road.

“It’s very similar to the other grants we’ve gotten for this project,” committee member Susan P. Smith said.

The committee recommended $178,000 to close out a portion of a loan from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to build Wind 1. The town borrowed approximately $5 million to construct the turbine. While this total is non-negotiable, approximately $1 million of it was to be paid back to the Clean Energy Center in the form of renewable energy certificates from Wind 1.

“Since we have a contract that does require us to pay renewable energy credits if a court order shuts down the wind turbine, as there now is, this is the limit of our liability on that $1 million loan,” committee member Peter J. Hargraves said.

He acknowledged the town still has $4 million in debt relating to the project. This article specifically pertains to debt that was to be paid back through renewable energy certificates.

“It was a very good contract, as it was written, because it recognized that the Clean Energy Center has some skin in the game, and so, they’re not going to get paid for something we’re not doing,” Mr. Hargraves said.

Their final recommendation was $31,016 to go toward the purchase of a new Ford F-350 truck for the marine and environmental services department. The truck is used for general maintenance.

“Right now, they’re contracting those services because they don’t have that truck, which was totaled,” Mr. Hargraves said.

The truck costs approximately $42,000 to replace, but the town received an $11,000 insurance payout which will go toward the purchase of a new vehicle.

Source:  By Brad Cole | The Falmouth Enterprise | Feb 9, 2018 | www.capenews.net

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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