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Mineral wind farm operators discuss community fund

As the Pinnacle wind farm project continues with the state Public Service Commission process, so do plans for the Community Benefits Fund, a $50,000 annual contribution from US Wind Force to the community for the lifetime of the project.

US Wind Force will make $50,000 yearly contribution

KEYSER, W.Va. - As the Pinnacle wind farm project continues with the state Public Service Commission process, so do plans for the Community Benefits Fund, a $50,000 annual contribution from US Wind Force to the community for the lifetime of the project.

"Ithink we're getting to the point where we need to work out who would be on the board,"; Jim Cookman, vice president of project development at US Wind Force, said at the meeting of the Community Advisory Panel on Monday.

The panel agreed it would like to hear from the Community Trust Foundation at its August meeting on how that system works and whether the panel could operate under the foundation.

Dave Friend, vice president of sales and marketing at US Wind Force, said the biggest issue would be stepping back and letting the board run itself. While he said he would be comfortable with the current panel members, if one should step down, how do they find someone just as involved in the community to take their place?

He also said he didn't think the company would completely step away from administering the fund.

Donnie Ashby, panel member and nearby resident to the planned project, asked... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

US Wind Force will make $50,000 yearly contribution

KEYSER, W.Va. - As the Pinnacle wind farm project continues with the state Public Service Commission process, so do plans for the Community Benefits Fund, a $50,000 annual contribution from US Wind Force to the community for the lifetime of the project.

"I‚Äąthink we're getting to the point where we need to work out who would be on the board,"; Jim Cookman, vice president of project development at US Wind Force, said at the meeting of the Community Advisory Panel on Monday.

The panel agreed it would like to hear from the Community Trust Foundation at its August meeting on how that system works and whether the panel could operate under the foundation.

Dave Friend, vice president of sales and marketing at US Wind Force, said the biggest issue would be stepping back and letting the board run itself. While he said he would be comfortable with the current panel members, if one should step down, how do they find someone just as involved in the community to take their place?

He also said he didn't think the company would completely step away from administering the fund.

Donnie Ashby, panel member and nearby resident to the planned project, asked if the fund is something that US Wind Force would do again for future projects.

"This is the first project we've done this for,"Friend said. think if we had it to do over again, we would. We've gotten to know the community. I would probably be inclined to do it again. ... It took away some of the abruptness of, boom, the project is coming."

The 23-turbine project proposed on Green Mountain has gained some support from the community, Friend said, including public support from the City Council of Keyser, the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce and the Mineral County Development Authority. He added that they also spoke to the county commissioners and were able to discuss some of the rumors about the project and what they will do. This included a rumor that they would need to clear three miles of trees to put the turbines up, which Friend told the commissioners and reiterated to the panel was not true.

As for the PSC process, Cookman said that two groups have been named as interveners - or someone with special interest who must be represented by legal counsel at the hearings. One is the West Virginia Building Trade Foundation, which is in support of the project, and the other is the Allegheny Front Alliance, which has spoken against the project. He said that a public hearing has been scheduled by PSC in Keyser at the courthouse on Sept. 24 with 4 and 7 p.m. sessions.

The panel will meet again Aug. 3, though the location has yet to be set.


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

JUN 30 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/20920-mineral-wind-farm-operators-discuss-community-fund
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