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County approves wind farm plan

Young County commissioners formally approved a tax abatement agreement Monday with British Petroleum ...After months of negotiation, the final agreement guarantees between $83,333 and $350,000 a year in lieu of property taxes. The proposal also guarantees that if the farm is built, Young County will receive a minimum of 50 megawatts. If more turbines are placed in the county, the money paid will rise incrementally.

Young County commissioners formally approved a tax abatement agreement Monday with British Petroleum that will bring $1.6 million to the county over the next 10 years if a wind farm is built.

After months of negotiation, the final agreement guarantees between $83,333 and $350,000 a year in lieu of property taxes.

The proposal also guarantees that if the farm is built, Young County will receive a minimum of 50 megawatts. If more turbines are placed in the county, the money paid will rise incrementally.

In addition, BP agreed to maintain all impacted county roads during the construction process, pay fees for attorney Alan Carmichael who was hired to negotiate the agreement and maintain a viable presence in the county for 20 years. In addition, BP agreed the wind turbines would have a value of at least $75 million.

County Judge Stan Peavy III said the agreement and the possibility of a wind farm could be a lifeline to the county over the next decade.

"Giving the phenomenally large tax hit we're going to take - maybe not this year but for sure next year - because the bottom fell out of oil and gas, it can't come soon enough," Peavy said.

Young County landowner... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Young County commissioners formally approved a tax abatement agreement Monday with British Petroleum that will bring $1.6 million to the county over the next 10 years if a wind farm is built.

After months of negotiation, the final agreement guarantees between $83,333 and $350,000 a year in lieu of property taxes.

The proposal also guarantees that if the farm is built, Young County will receive a minimum of 50 megawatts. If more turbines are placed in the county, the money paid will rise incrementally.

In addition, BP agreed to maintain all impacted county roads during the construction process, pay fees for attorney Alan Carmichael who was hired to negotiate the agreement and maintain a viable presence in the county for 20 years. In addition, BP agreed the wind turbines would have a value of at least $75 million.

County Judge Stan Peavy III said the agreement and the possibility of a wind farm could be a lifeline to the county over the next decade.

"Giving the phenomenally large tax hit we're going to take - maybe not this year but for sure next year - because the bottom fell out of oil and gas, it can't come soon enough," Peavy said.

Young County landowner Alan Lewis has followed the BP proposal closely. He said the company is working hard to make the wind farm a reality. He explained that three teams of surveyors are working daily to create a map of the county that shows every house, fence and road. The surveyors are also looking at oil wells, both current and plugged. That information will help BP determine where the wind turbines can be placed. Because of the amount of work to choose locations, Lewis said he expects construction to begin in 2010.

"I think they would make an effort to get it started in 2009 so they can get that federal tax credit," Precinct 2 Commissioner John C. Bullock said. "It was only extended one year."

After a short discussion, Bullock joined commissioners John Hawkins and Jimmy Wiley in approving the abatement. Peavy and Commissioner R.L. Spivey abstained.

"I want to commend John Charles (Bullock) and Jimmy (Wiley) on the work they did on this," Hawkins said. "They did more than I did. They did a good job and should be commended."

Lewis also applauded the commissioners.

"I think it will be good for everybody when it happens," he said. "As a landowner, I appreciate it."

For now, the only thing remaining is to wait for construction to begin.
"I hope it becomes reality fast," Wiley said.


Source: http://www.grahamleader.com...

DEC 23 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18379-county-approves-wind-farm-plan
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