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2003 Sanitary District deal resulted in lease for Clipper

A deal made in 2003 between the Garrett County Sanitary District and Clipper Windpower could result in wind turbines on property now owned by the county. "The county had nothing to do with that," Denny Glotfelty, county commission chairman, said. "The sanitary district at that time was a private entity. ... The county took over the sanitary district and the county tried to see if they could get out of the contract." Glotfelty, who had been on the Garrett County Sanitary District before it became a county-operated entity, said that the proposal was made to the sanitary district in 2002, and the sanitary district presented it to the towns of Loch Lynn and Mountain Lake Park, both of which had water sources in the area in question on Backbone Mountain. When both towns agreed to allow the wind turbines to come in, the sanitary district moved ahead with a lease with Clipper.

A deal made in 2003 between the Garrett County Sanitary District and Clipper Windpower could result in wind turbines on property now owned by the county.

"The county had nothing to do with that," Denny Glotfelty, county commission chairman, said. "The sanitary district at that time was a private entity. ... The county took over the sanitary district and the county tried to see if they could get out of the contract."

Glotfelty, who had been on the Garrett County Sanitary District before it became a county-operated entity, said that the proposal was made to the sanitary district in 2002, and the sanitary district presented it to the towns of Loch Lynn and Mountain Lake Park, both of which had water sources in the area in question on Backbone Mountain. When both towns agreed to allow the wind turbines to come in, the sanitary district moved ahead with a lease with Clipper.

Monty Pagenhardt, county administrator, said that in April 2003, the county took over jurisdiction of the sanitary district through emergency legislation. Because the deal had been made earlier that year, the commissioners were not aware of the lease agreement between the sanitary district and Clipper.

He said it wasn't until... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A deal made in 2003 between the Garrett County Sanitary District and Clipper Windpower could result in wind turbines on property now owned by the county.

"The county had nothing to do with that," Denny Glotfelty, county commission chairman, said. "The sanitary district at that time was a private entity. ... The county took over the sanitary district and the county tried to see if they could get out of the contract."

Glotfelty, who had been on the Garrett County Sanitary District before it became a county-operated entity, said that the proposal was made to the sanitary district in 2002, and the sanitary district presented it to the towns of Loch Lynn and Mountain Lake Park, both of which had water sources in the area in question on Backbone Mountain. When both towns agreed to allow the wind turbines to come in, the sanitary district moved ahead with a lease with Clipper.

Monty Pagenhardt, county administrator, said that in April 2003, the county took over jurisdiction of the sanitary district through emergency legislation. Because the deal had been made earlier that year, the commissioners were not aware of the lease agreement between the sanitary district and Clipper.

He said it wasn't until 2005, when Clipper came to the county requesting additional paperwork and lease agreements, that the commissioners became aware of a deal that had been made in 2003.

At that time, Pagenhardt said, the county tried to end the lease agreement, but was unable to do so legally. He said the county was aware it could be an "awkward position."

"I wasn't aware of that for years," Fred Holliday, commissioner, said. "We tried at one time to try and get out from under it, but they said they had the lease and were holding the lease."

Clipper spokesman Frank Maisano said the company does not have record of the commissioners attempting to get out of the lease at any point, and the company was never asked to get out of the easement.

Pagenhardt added that any money made by the lease would not go back to the county as a whole, but back into the budget of the sanitary district. He said that exact figures for how much the lease would be for each turbine are not available, but that the average is somewhere around $5,000 to $6,000 a year per turbine, with the possibility of three on the property.

He said that while people opposed to the turbines have said the county undertook the sanitary district as an effort to make the money from the lease, the amount of $15,000 to $18,000 when faced with a budget of $100 million is just a small amount.

According to Maisano, the company is estimating slightly more, somewhere around $7,500 to $8,000 per year initially.

Ernie Gregg, commissioner, said that looking at such an amount makes a person wonder if it would be "worth the fuss" of the opposition and criticism.

"Contrary to what naysayers have said, it was not the reason for transitioning to the county government," Gregg said.

Glotfelty added that while they have taken a stance against the use of public lands for the purpose of wind turbines in the case of state forests, he feels this situation is entirely different, as the property, at the time of the deal, was private land. He said that it simply changed hands to a public entity.

 


Source: http://www.times-news.com/l...

MAR 1 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/13606-2003-sanitary-district-deal-resulted-in-lease-for-clipper
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