It's curious that there's no mention in this article that the turbines would be spread out on three sides of the 7,000-plus acre Great Heath the largest peatland in the state and an area the state protects. See earlier post:
A wind power firm that hopes to erect 30 large, commercial-scale turbines in western Washi... is looking to establish a tax arrangement with the county and the town of Columbia that would provide a 70 percent break on new property taxes it would owe.
The county and the town each are considering financial agreements with Downeast Wind that would result from the establishment of the tax-increment financing districts. The county’s TIF district would consist of 13,000 acres in townships 18 and 24, while Columbia’s district would consist of 463 acres northeast of Schoodic Road.
If the county’s TIF proposal is approved, the county would agree to return 70 percent of the property tax revenue generated by 23 of the turbines, which would be in the county’s Unorganized Territory, to Downeast Wind, and would keep the remaining 30 percent. Over a 25-year period, the total anticipated tax revenue from the project would be nearly $11 million, with $7 million going back to Downeast Wind and nearly $4 million going to the county.
The town and Downeast Wind also would agree to a 70-30 split for tax revenues generated in a separate TIF district in Columbia, where seven turbines are planned. If approved, the $7.8 million generated in tax payments from those turbines would be divided so that over 29 years, the company would have $4.5 million returned to it and the town would keep $3.3 million.
The county is expected to have a public hearing on its proposed agreements at 4 p.m. Thursday at the county courthouse in Machias. The town plans a public hearing on its proposed agreements at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Columbia town office. A special town meeting to vote on the proposal will be held at the Columbia town office at 7 p.m., immediately following the public hearing.
Chris Gardner, chairman of the Washington County Commission, said that Downeast Wind will need approvals from the state Department of Environmental Protection and Land Use Planning Commission before it can develop the project. The county commissioners’ only role is to decide whether to accept the proposed TIF agreement for the Unorganized Territory in the county.
Gardner said he supports the proposed TIF agreement, which would commit $300,000 in tax revenue generated by the project to economic development in the county’s unorganized territory.
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