Patriot Renewables offers $80,000 more to Woodstock
Posted June 24-Wind power developer Patriot Renewables, which plans to build towers in Woodstock, has offered to make an additional, one-time payment of $80,000 to the town as part of a “tangible benefits” package agreement.
Patriot has applied to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to place 11 towers on Spruce Mountain.
A 2008 state law provides for a tangible benefits payment to compensate for the impact of such projects.
In its initial application to DEP, Patriot proposed to pay “at least” $20,000 a year to Woodstock for 20 years, and provide a 1,000-acre conservation easement on its property that will allow public recreational use.
The $20,000, Patriot said, “could be used without restriction.”
But in late May, the Woodstock Conservation Commission met with a state official from the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, which is also involved in the application process, about increasing the amount paid.
The additional payment, they said, would be specifically used for conservation, and would help offset the affected viewscape from state-owned Little Concord State Park and trails on Bald and Speckled mountains.
On June 8, Patriot project manager Andy Novey wrote to DEP offering “an additional one-time payment of $80,000 to the Town of Woodstock to be used solely for conservation purposes.
“It is our understanding that this conservation fund would be administered by the town with input and direction from the Conservation Commission.”
On June 18, WCC Vice Chairman Jane Chandler e-mailed BPL Deputy Director Alan Stearns that the WCC had voted “to accept any funds in a tangible benefit package that could benefit conservation and recreation in the region.”
Town Manager Vern Maxfield said Monday if the $80,000 proposal was accepted, selectmen and the town would make the final decisions on its use.
At a June 8 selectmen’s meeting, Maxfield said the WCC wanted to use the funds toward the preservation of Buck’s Ledge, a 644-acre parcel near North Pond. Chandler said Monday she did not want to get into specifics until the process is completed.
Area and state conservation organizations have been trying for several years to raise funds to purchase the land.