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County, city firm clash over wind farm

A lease deal between Northumberland County and Penn Wind LLC, of Sunbury, is up in the air today. Three years ago, county Commissioners Samuel Deitrick, Kurt Masser and Frank Sawicki approved an agreement with Penn Wind to lease 200 acres in Coal and East Cameron townships.

Sudbury -- A lease deal between Northumberland County and Penn Wind LLC, of Sunbury, is up in the air today.

Three years ago, county Commissioners Samuel Deitrick, Kurt Masser and Frank Sawicki approved an agreement with Penn Wind to lease 200 acres in Coal and East Cameron townships.

The company planned to use the land to develop a wind farm for generating electricity, and pay the county $56,000 a year.

On Friday, Commissioner Vinny Clausi left a closed-door meeting between the parties in a huff after he said company officials, including owner Justin Dunkelberger, and their attorneys disclosed they want to sell the lease to an unidentified California company for almost $1.1 million.

Clausi said that means a new deal has to be negotiated and he wants the county to benefit by receiving a percentage of the gross profits from wind energy.

"I want the fair share for the taxpayers," he said, urging residents to attend Tuesday's public board meeting at 1 p.m. in the County Administration Building, where the issue will be discussed.

Masser said he's not sure where the deal stands because Penn Wind representatives left the meeting indicating the agreement may be off the table.... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Sudbury -- A lease deal between Northumberland County and Penn Wind LLC, of Sunbury, is up in the air today.

Three years ago, county Commissioners Samuel Deitrick, Kurt Masser and Frank Sawicki approved an agreement with Penn Wind to lease 200 acres in Coal and East Cameron townships.

The company planned to use the land to develop a wind farm for generating electricity, and pay the county $56,000 a year.

On Friday, Commissioner Vinny Clausi left a closed-door meeting between the parties in a huff after he said company officials, including owner Justin Dunkelberger, and their attorneys disclosed they want to sell the lease to an unidentified California company for almost $1.1 million.

Clausi said that means a new deal has to be negotiated and he wants the county to benefit by receiving a percentage of the gross profits from wind energy.

"I want the fair share for the taxpayers," he said, urging residents to attend Tuesday's public board meeting at 1 p.m. in the County Administration Building, where the issue will be discussed.

Masser said he's not sure where the deal stands because Penn Wind representatives left the meeting indicating the agreement may be off the table.

While he's not thrilled with the prospect of having a California company involved in the deal, "I'd rather not see it die," Masser said. "I just want to do what's best for the taxpayers."

Dunkelberger said he'll outline the company's offer to the public on Tuesday after failing to work with the fractured board.

"Mr. Clausi just wants to get loud and yell," he said.

Dunkelberger said Clausi's demand for a percentage of the profits is not as good of a deal compared to his "ironclad" offer of $56,000 each year.

"I'm trying to give them the best deal over the next 20 years and $56,000 a year is 100 percent ironclad and more than they'll get with what Mr. Clausi wants," he said.

Dunkelberger added: "As you know, wind doesn't blow all the time and this site is not the best wind source."

He had no comment as to why an out-of-state company would be interested in investing in a less-than-ideal site.

County assistant solicitor Kymberley Best said she wants more information about Penn Wind's plans, including job opportunities.

"Fifty-six thousand dollars is not a lot of money when you consider the bigger picture and the precedent," she said.


Source: http://www.dailyitem.com/01...

JAN 16 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/24164-county-city-firm-clash-over-wind-farm
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