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Wind farm agreements released, hearings scheduled for January

East Hampton Town and the East Hampton Town Trustees this week made public the easement and lease agreements they have negotiated with wind farm developers Ørsted and Eversource for the rights to bury the South Fork Wind Farm power cable beneath a beach and town roads in Wainscott in exchange for nearly $29 million in compensation from the company over the next 28 years.

East Hampton Town and the East Hampton Town Trustees this week made public the easement and lease agreements they have negotiated with wind farm developers Ørsted and Eversource for the rights to bury the South Fork Wind Farm power cable beneath a beach and town roads in Wainscott in exchange for nearly $29 million in compensation from the company over the next 28 years.

The Town Board said it will dedicate at least one work session, on January 12, to gathering public reactions to the agreement before it acts.

“We want the public to have an opportunity to have a good long look at these documents before we act on them,” Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said on Tuesday.

The Trustees have yet to schedule a meeting dedicated to public input on the lease, but members of the board said on Monday night that they will do so.

Some members of the Town Board, including Mr. Van Scoyoc, have said they support signing the easement agreement more or less immediately, even though the actual rights granted would not take effect until the overall project is approved by state and federal regulators — a step not expected until 2022.

Councilman Jeff Bragman has been a strident critic of such a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

East Hampton Town and the East Hampton Town Trustees this week made public the easement and lease agreements they have negotiated with wind farm developers Ørsted and Eversource for the rights to bury the South Fork Wind Farm power cable beneath a beach and town roads in Wainscott in exchange for nearly $29 million in compensation from the company over the next 28 years.

The Town Board said it will dedicate at least one work session, on January 12, to gathering public reactions to the agreement before it acts.

“We want the public to have an opportunity to have a good long look at these documents before we act on them,” Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said on Tuesday.

The Trustees have yet to schedule a meeting dedicated to public input on the lease, but members of the board said on Monday night that they will do so.

Some members of the Town Board, including Mr. Van Scoyoc, have said they support signing the easement agreement more or less immediately, even though the actual rights granted would not take effect until the overall project is approved by state and federal regulators — a step not expected until 2022.

Councilman Jeff Bragman has been a strident critic of such a move, saying that there is no reason for the town to sign before the state review, at least, is completed.

Members of the Trustees, some of whom were openly skeptical of the project in its early years, have not weighed in publicly on when they might move to sign the lease for the ocean beach area.

A group of Wainscott residents has pledged to take the town and Trustees to court if they sign the lease or easement agreements before the state has concluded its review of the cable landing. The group, the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott, is also pressing for Wainscott to incorporate as a village, which would take control of its roads, with an eye to denying local permission for the cable.

The group has accused Town Board members of rushing the signing of the agreements to foil the incorporation effort’s goals.

On Monday, board members said that the drafting of the agreements was a long and arduous task, but one that has allowed them to address many of the concerns they have about the project.

“There was no reason for us to support this project,” Trustee James Grimes said on Monday night. “It was guaranteed to impact our fishing community. But we slowly came around. Very slowly.”

The financial support, they said, should be directed specifically to environmental improvement projects that will benefit fisheries, like the dredging of Napeague Harbor and Lake Montauk to improve water circulation and help flagging shellfish stocks.

The payments would come to the town in three stages: a $500,000 lump sum when the town signs the easement and lease agreements, another $500,000 when construction of the wind farm begins — currently expected in 2022 — and annual payments starting when the wind farm begins operating and throughout its 25-year expected operational life. The annual payments would increase gradually, from $870,000 in the first year to $1.4 million in year 25. With the $1 million milestone payments, the total amount agreed to in the contracts is $28,966,361.


Source: https://sagharborexpress.co...

DEC 16 2020
https://www.windaction.org/posts/51981-wind-farm-agreements-released-hearings-scheduled-for-january
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