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Wind farm tax deal detailed

Franklin County can expect to get $200,000 a year for 20 years to use for economic development in the unorganized territory in the tax break deal struck with the owner of the Kibby Wind Power Project going up near the Canadian border. This week, county commissioners moved forward on their plans to have Greater Franklin Development Corporation administer that annual amount.

FARMINGTON -- Franklin County can expect to get $200,000 a year for 20 years to use for economic development in the unorganized territory in the tax break deal struck with the owner of the Kibby Wind Power Project going up near the Canadian border.

This week, county commissioners moved forward on their plans to have Greater Franklin Development Corporation administer that annual amount. Greater Franklin, working with a committee, would take on the managing of the program and reviewing applications from businesses and organizations hoping to tap those funds.

The committee will include residents of the unorganized territory in Franklin County. For information, call Greater Franklin's executive Director Alison Hagerstrom at 778-5887.

TransCanada Corp. of Canada expects to have half the turbines operational this year and the remainder operational in 2010, according to the company.

TransCanada's first payment to the county could be available as early as November, Hagerstrom said. The $320 million project already has 22 of the 44, 400-foot tall wind turbines erected on the ridge line of Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range, according to Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay. McGrane said he recently toured... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

FARMINGTON -- Franklin County can expect to get $200,000 a year for 20 years to use for economic development in the unorganized territory in the tax break deal struck with the owner of the Kibby Wind Power Project going up near the Canadian border.

This week, county commissioners moved forward on their plans to have Greater Franklin Development Corporation administer that annual amount. Greater Franklin, working with a committee, would take on the managing of the program and reviewing applications from businesses and organizations hoping to tap those funds.

The committee will include residents of the unorganized territory in Franklin County. For information, call Greater Franklin's executive Director Alison Hagerstrom at 778-5887.

TransCanada Corp. of Canada expects to have half the turbines operational this year and the remainder operational in 2010, according to the company.

TransCanada's first payment to the county could be available as early as November, Hagerstrom said. The $320 million project already has 22 of the 44, 400-foot tall wind turbines erected on the ridge line of Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range, according to Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay. McGrane said he recently toured the site and was impressed that over 22 contracting companies, employing more than 300 people, were working on the project.

The county, under a state law governing the tax-increment financing program, can invest the funds generated solely from the property taxes paid by TransCanada Corp. on specific ventures that would benefit the county's unorganized townships.

The agreement includes $10,000 a year to administer the "TIF." There will also be $135,000 a year for tourism/marketing assistance and nature-based tourism planning; $100,000 for public safety, fire protection, emergency communication equipment and global-information system mapping; and $50,000 for scenic byways improvements.

Another $25,000 would annually go into a commercial revolving loan fund; $25,000 would be available for a county match for economic development projects; and $30,000 would be used to pay half of the county's annual fee to Greater Franklin Development with the caveat that it be spent on economic development in the unorganized townships.

"The commissioners will have the final say on what projects are offered but they (applications) will be sifted out by Greater Franklin," said Commissioner Fred Hardy of New Sharon.

Eaton Peabody Consulting Group LLC, which set up the tax program for the county, has offered to provide services, training and support to Hagerstrom's office for the first year for $7,200. The money would be paid out of the TIF funds.

In other business, commissioners met with Steve Braconi and Joe Carlson, owners of Church Street Commons, an office building across from the County Courthouse downtown to hear their proposal to lease 5,000 square feet on two floors to the county for offices.

Commissioners and a building committee are considering several options to deal with overcrowded offices including a new $5.5 million facility near the jail on Fairbanks Road. Committee member Paul Mills, a member of the Farmington Downtown Association, has lobbied to keep the county offices downtown.


Source: http://morningsentinel.main...

SEP 2 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/21995-wind-farm-tax-deal-detailed
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