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Potter court denies easement request

A small request turned into a big deal at Monday's Potter County Commissioners Court meeting.

The easement to run a power line from a proposed wind farm west of Amarillo to connect with Xcel Energy's power lines is too narrow, so Cielo Wind Power asked for another 30 feet.

However, members of the court voiced their displeasure with the company and denied the request because the plan now calls for putting wind-generating turbines in Oldham County.

"We were going to get 25 percent of the towers," said County Judge Arthur Ware. "Show us some wind turbines and we'll show you some easement."

In April, commissioners unanimously approved a 10-year tax abatement for the company worth about $900,000.

In lieu of taxes, the Wildorado wind farm is scheduled to pay the county up to $1,000 annually over the 10-year period for each megawatt of capacity produced in Potter County - up to a maximum of $20,000 per year.

But no turbines would mean no megawatts.

"We are still planning to do work in Potter County," said Cielo President Walter Hornaday.

"The way we're phasing in the project, the second phase will be in Potter County. The incentive is still a great tool to get the second phase contracted out."

In other business, the estimated cost of the new justice of the peace office to be built west of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
The easement to run a power line from a proposed wind farm west of Amarillo to connect with Xcel Energy's power lines is too narrow, so Cielo Wind Power asked for another 30 feet.

However, members of the court voiced their displeasure with the company and denied the request because the plan now calls for putting wind-generating turbines in Oldham County.

"We were going to get 25 percent of the towers," said County Judge Arthur Ware. "Show us some wind turbines and we'll show you some easement."

In April, commissioners unanimously approved a 10-year tax abatement for the company worth about $900,000.

In lieu of taxes, the Wildorado wind farm is scheduled to pay the county up to $1,000 annually over the 10-year period for each megawatt of capacity produced in Potter County - up to a maximum of $20,000 per year.

But no turbines would mean no megawatts.

"We are still planning to do work in Potter County," said Cielo President Walter Hornaday.

"The way we're phasing in the project, the second phase will be in Potter County. The incentive is still a great tool to get the second phase contracted out."

In other business, the estimated cost of the new justice of the peace office to be built west of Amarillo is closer to $400,000 than the original price of $481,000.

Commissioners voted Monday to approve the final plans and have the construction bidding process start.

"It's time to stop any further delays and get this thing done," said Commissioner Joe Kirkwood.

Commissioners also postponed approving a request from Sheriff Mike Shumate to buy cameras to keep watch on parts of the courthouse where criminals are kept.

The proposed price went from $3,500 to $7,000, provoking the negative responses.

"Could we put this off two weeks and see what we're getting into?" Ware said.

The money for the project would come out of the courthouse security fund, money collected during court cases and dedicated to one purpose.

"You can only do one thing - increase security," said Deputy Dennis Horn.

Source: http://www.amarillo.com/sto...

JAN 10 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/941-potter-court-denies-easement-request
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