Is an agreement with Beaver Ridge Wind within reach?

The Board of Selectmen’s Meeting last Monday night ended, once again, with discussions about the 30% abatement request made by Beaver Ridge Wind. It appears as though an agreement may be within reach after months of negotiations.

Selectman Steve Bennett stated that he had spoken with Todd Presson about the current offer and said that Presson seemed accepting of it and would have their attorney draft something up for the selectmen to look at.

The current offer: 0% for 2014 – 7.5% 2015 thru 2018 – 3.5% S/L beginning in 2019 until turbines have reached 35% of their beginning value in 2029. The value of the project after 2029 will be $3,455,201.

Kudos to Selectmen Steve Bennett for actually asking the resident’s present their thoughts on the current offer. It’s the first time, since I’ve been attending the meetings, that a selectman has requested input from the public during one of these meetings.

Selectmen Steve Bennett requested that an addition be inserted into the purposed document stating that this offer be binding for the current selectmen and that any future selectmen could change or revoke the current valuation schedule if they saw fit.

Also mentioned to the resident’s present was the fact that currently Freedom does not have a decommissioning agreement with Beaver Ridge Wind. The only agreement put in place to guarantee that the town of Freedom won’t have to pay for the removal of the turbine when they are no longer operational is with Selectman Ron Price, who leases his property to Beaver Ridge Wind.

Because of the concern garnered by this bit of news, Selectmen Bennett requested that a separate agreement be put forth to Beaver Ridge Wind guaranteeing that the town would not have the expense of the removal of the project when the time came.

As the meeting wound down, a motion was put forth by Selectmen Bennett to submit above offer to Beaver Ridge Wind, with the addition, plus a further request for a decommissioning agreement. Selectman Kenny Overlock seconded the motion. Selectman Ron Price abstained from voting.