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Commissioner: No use for 'sales pitch'

Saying he is not interested in a repeat of a "sales pitch," Mineral County President Wayne Spiggle is spelling out four specific issues which he wants representatives of U.S. Wind Force to answer when they meet with the commissioners on June 23.

KEYSER - Saying he is not interested in a repeat of a "sales pitch," Mineral County President Wayne Spiggle is spelling out four specific issues which he wants representatives of U.S. Wind Force to answer when they meet with the commissioners on June 23.

"I have drafted a letter suggesting how they might structure their presentation," he said Tuesday during the regular county commission meeting, noting that the project itself has been outlined numerous times during various meetings and in the local media.

"I don't see the utility in their presentation to the county commission being another sales pitch," he said. "They've already done a very thorough job in doing that."

Jim Cookman and David Friend, representing U.S. Wind Force, had requested a meeting with the commissioners, and are scheduled to appear at their June 23 meeting. Spiggle said he felt that, unless the commissioners ask them to limit their comments to specific issues, the meeting could go on too long.

In a draft letter to Cookman, Spiggle told him that county commissioners are not given the authority to oversee wind turbine projects, but there are four issues which would directly impact the citizens of the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

KEYSER - Saying he is not interested in a repeat of a "sales pitch," Mineral County President Wayne Spiggle is spelling out four specific issues which he wants representatives of U.S. Wind Force to answer when they meet with the commissioners on June 23.

"I have drafted a letter suggesting how they might structure their presentation," he said Tuesday during the regular county commission meeting, noting that the project itself has been outlined numerous times during various meetings and in the local media.

"I don't see the utility in their presentation to the county commission being another sales pitch," he said. "They've already done a very thorough job in doing that."

Jim Cookman and David Friend, representing U.S. Wind Force, had requested a meeting with the commissioners, and are scheduled to appear at their June 23 meeting. Spiggle said he felt that, unless the commissioners ask them to limit their comments to specific issues, the meeting could go on too long.

In a draft letter to Cookman, Spiggle told him that county commissioners are not given the authority to oversee wind turbine projects, but there are four issues which would directly impact the citizens of the county which he would like for the company to address:

- "Among the many promises Wind Force LLC has made is an annual payment to Mineral County in property taxes. We would like you to commit your willingness to keep this promise by agreeing to enter into a contract with the Mineral County Commission binding your company and all future owners to paying at least the annual amount (originally promised).

- "We also want to know if your company will bind itself and future owners with a bond to the state or county, sufficient to obviate any public cost in the event the turbines need to be dismantled at the end of their generating life.

- "You have indicated that several hundred jobs will rsult from the two-yaer construction period. We are interested in knowing how many of these jobs will go to residents of Mineral County and its environs.

- "During the construction period, it will be necessary to use roads in the county that are currently in daily use. Please tell us what roads will be used, the
maximum weight load these roads will be subjected to, and what guarantees you might tive us that regular commerce will not be disturbed and the roads will not be damaged."

County Commissioner Janice LaRue said she also has a lot of questions about the project which she would like to have answered.

"For one thing, why are the lease amounts secret?" she said. "Do they have a reason they don't want people to know what they're paying?"

Spiggle noted that, as a private business, Wind Force is not required to release that information.

"And the turbines that are going to be about a mile and a half form Jennings Randolph Lake. Will they have any affect on the people who camp at the lake?" she asked, referring to the viewshed which many opponents have said would be ruined by the turbines.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," Spiggle said. "I may think it will (ruin the viewshed), and you may think it won't ...

"I happen to have very strong feelings on that point, but it doesn't mean people with other viewpoints are wrong.

"There just isn't any answer to that question," he said.

He also said the questions which LaRue was asking are outside the jurisdiction of the commission.

"These questions are very appropriate, as far as I am concerned, but go far beyond the relationship between Wind Force and county government," he said, noting that the commissioners have very little authority when it comes to the wind project.

"It just has not been given to us by the state legislature," he said, adding that where the county does have authority is in the area of "any possible harm to the local infrastructure, etc."

"I would suggest, unless we want to spend a lot of time, that we just focus on these issues."

Commissioners LaRue and Cindy Pyles approved the letter, which will be sent to Cookman.


Source: http://www.newstribune.info...

JUN 10 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/20588-commissioner-no-use-for-sales-pitch
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