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Penn Wind, county get to work on new lease

The co-owner and chief executive officer for Penn Wind LLC said he didn't attend Tuesday's commissioners' meeting because Commissioner Chairman Frank Sawicki informed one of his associates just prior to the session that the wind farm issue wasn't on the meeting agenda and probably wouldn't be discussed.

SUNBURY - The co-owner and chief executive officer for Penn Wind LLC said he didn't attend Tuesday's commissioners' meeting because Commissioner Chairman Frank Sawicki informed one of his associates just prior to the session that the wind farm issue wasn't on the meeting agenda and probably wouldn't be discussed.

That turned out to be bad advice since the proposed wind farm ended up being the focal point of the meeting, even though it wasn't on the agenda.

Justin Dunkelberger, whose firm is embroiled in a controversy with the county over renewal of a lease agreement, said he arrived at the county administration center at about 1 p.m. Tuesday to attend the meeting, but was met moments later in the lobby of the building by one of his associates.

Dunkelberger said his associate was in the audience waiting for the meeting to begin when Sawicki walked into the room and told him the wind farm issue wasn't on the agenda and probably wouldn't be discussed.

The Penn Wind associate then left the meeting room and informed Dunkelberger of Sawicki's statements, and they both left.

Sawicki admitted Wednesday he told Dunkelberger's associate that he doubted the wind farm issue would... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

SUNBURY - The co-owner and chief executive officer for Penn Wind LLC said he didn't attend Tuesday's commissioners' meeting because Commissioner Chairman Frank Sawicki informed one of his associates just prior to the session that the wind farm issue wasn't on the meeting agenda and probably wouldn't be discussed.

That turned out to be bad advice since the proposed wind farm ended up being the focal point of the meeting, even though it wasn't on the agenda.

Justin Dunkelberger, whose firm is embroiled in a controversy with the county over renewal of a lease agreement, said he arrived at the county administration center at about 1 p.m. Tuesday to attend the meeting, but was met moments later in the lobby of the building by one of his associates.

Dunkelberger said his associate was in the audience waiting for the meeting to begin when Sawicki walked into the room and told him the wind farm issue wasn't on the agenda and probably wouldn't be discussed.

The Penn Wind associate then left the meeting room and informed Dunkelberger of Sawicki's statements, and they both left.

Sawicki admitted Wednesday he told Dunkelberger's associate that he doubted the wind farm issue would surface at the meeting and didn't believe there was a need for any Penn Wind official to be in attendance. During the meeting, the commissioners agreed with Sawicki's recommendation to conduct a special meeting to discuss the wind farm lease at a later date, but Clausi insisted on talking about the lease agreement and received support from Commissioner Kurt Masser to allow citizens to voice their opinions on the subject as well.

Clausi had encouraged the public to show up because the topic was going to be discussed. The meeting room was packed with about 50 people.

Two sides talking

Dunkelberger said he met with the commissioners a couple times Wednesday in an effort to clarify information discussed at Tuesday's public meeting, and also to resolve several issues pertaining to the lease, with the county that has not yet been renewed for 2010.

He said he and the commissioners agreed not to discuss the negotiations with the media for the next few days, or until certain matters are resolved.

Asked for comment about the developments, Clausi stated, "All I can say is it was a good day for both parties (county and Penn Wind)."

Masser confirmed negotiations are continuing, but reserved further comment.

Sawicki said, "We are going to make this work. I am determined to bring industry to Northumberland County."

Royalties among issues

At the center of the debate are several issues, including the validity of the lease, how much acreage is involved and what the county would get in return. Dunkelberger agreed to address all those issues with The News-Item after further attempts are made to resolve matters with the commissioners.

Penn Wind negotiated a lease in 2007 for 200 acres of county land in Coal and East Cameron townships to construct the wind farm. It was renewed at the end of 2008, but the current board of commissioners has not approved the annual renewal of the contract, which expired in early December.

Penn Wind acquired the land for $1 per year with the agreement that it would pay the county $56,000 in royalties. But Clausi wants the county to receive a percentage of the gross profits from wind energy, not just the flat yearly fee.


Source: http://newsitem.com/news/pe...

JAN 21 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/24252-penn-wind-county-get-to-work-on-new-lease
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