January 9, 2019

Mitchell County supervisors opt to not sign windfarm certificates

Chrystal Berche | The Press-News | Jan 8, 2019 | globegazette.com

OSAGE | At the Monday, Dec. 31 meeting of the Mitchell County Board of Supervisors, supervisors opted to not sign estoppel certificates requested by the Turtle Creek Wind Farm.

An estoppel certificate states certain facts are correct, as that a lease exists, that there are no defaults, and that rent is paid to a certain date.

By signing the certificates, the board of supervisors would be indicating all monies owed to Mitchell County, by Turtle Creek Wind Farm, had been paid.

“I don’t know why the wind farm is going crazy over this,” said Mitchell County Attorney Mark Walk. “I don’t know if it’s because the lenders have to have them or what.”

“…The first time they came in they treated everyone fine and fairly, but this time has been a disaster, nothing but headaches. … I think they are going to have a hard time, going forward, to have landowners willing to work with them.”

Walk also added the last page of the document was not complete.

“I informed them I would not let the supervisors sign an incomplete document,” he said.

“Once you certify the agreement named in the estoppel certificates as the only document, if you should find another one in existence somewhere, then the wind farm can use the estoppel agreement to say you signed off, you got paid and received all the money owed.”

The supervisors opted not to sign off on the agreement until Walk had the opportunity to check the agreement, including the crossing of the conservation trail, to ensure there were no other outstanding agreements.

“Right now we just can’t sign it,” Walk said. “It’s not complete and they acknowledge it can’t be signed as it is.”

Supervisor Steve Smolik asked if signing the agreement would have any effect on the landowners with wind turbines on their property, specifically if they might be owed money.

“This only effects the agreement Mitchell County has with them,” Walk said.

Mitchell County Supervisor Stan Walk expressed concerns about the last minute receipt of the certificates and the request the certificates be signed and sent back immediately.

“Back in June, we asked for locations on things, and they held off and held off and weren’t willing to sign,” Walk said. “They haven’t been real cooperative with us, and all of a sudden it’s a disaster if we don’t hurry and sign. That doesn’t sit right with me.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2019/01/09/mitchell-county-supervisors-opt-to-not-sign-windfarm-certificates/