Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 08-08-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 NO. SMITHFIELD / WOONSOCKET AUGUST 8-14, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NO. SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET Green Development back before Town Council for tax treaty Smaller project means reduced payment NORTH SMITHFIELD – The financial incentives for a massive solar farm first proposed last year off Iron Mine Hill Road are now up for consideration by the Town Council, though councilors say they've still got several discussions ahead before finalizing the agreement with North Kingstown-based Green Development. On Monday, the council consid- ered a draft of a tax stabilization agreement presented by Stephen Bursini, the attorney representing the renewable energy company. According to the proposal, the company has offered to pay the town $7,000 per megawatt per year for 10 years, with an option to renew the agreement for another 10 years. If approved as written, the agreement would amount to $5.46 million in tax payments over 20 years based on a 39-megawatt energy output. The per-megawatt figure is the same that was presented to the coun- cil when the company first sought a zoning change for the project in April of last year. However, due to changes in the scale of the project, the overall financial benefit to the town has been scaled back. At the time, company representatives told the council the project would generate 57.5 mega- watts of energy and last 25 years, fig- ures that would have amounted to a total tax payout of $10.1 million over the course of the project. Since then, the expected output of the project has dropped to 39 megawatts, a number likely chosen to avoid incurring a state law that requires energy projects 40 mega- watts or larger to submit to review by the state Energy Facility Siting Board. The timeline of the agreement was reduced to 20 years to comply with a state law that limits the length of tax stabilization agreements, as noted in the draft document. Company representatives last year also offered the town a one-time donation of $5,000 per megawatt, a payment that would amount $195,000 based on the current expected project size. Though the one-time donation was not included in the draft document, Bursini told councilors they would be able to negotiate the donation from the com- pany separately from the agreement. The $7,000 per megawatt figure is $2,000 higher than the $5,000 in tax payments required by the Office of Energy Resources, which oversees solar policy for the state. Asked by councilors why the company chose to offer more than was required by state law, Bursini said the company was trying to be a good neighbor to the town. "Unlike a typical tax stabilization agreement that's for the benefit of the developer, this is a tax stabilization agreement that's for the benefit of the town. It's the developer giving the town more, and this is the document that binds it," he said. Though Green Development is the company behind the project, the document actually lists nine separate LLCs identified as GDIM 1 through 9 representing separate portions of the project as parties to the agree- ment. As Bursini explained, the proj- ect was split into nine separate legal entities in order to avoid size limita- tions in the state's renewable energy growth program. Though the document had previ- ously been discussed in closed ses- sion, Councilor Paul Zwolenski said he still had several concerns over the agreement and wished to continue talks with the company before open- ing up the matter to a public hearing as required by town ordinance. In particular, he pointed to his previous hope of using the tax funds generated by the agreement to purchase open space for the town, an opportunity no longer available after the sale of a large open space property the town had been targeting to a developer earlier this year. "I was one of the council people that voted to make the solar overlay district, and I did so because it was done under the purpose of purchas- ing other open space in town," he said. "Those opportunities have eluded us. The overlay's there, I'm just not really comfortable with the agreement." Zwolenski, Council President Paul Vadenais, Town Administrator Gary Ezovski and Town Solicitor David Igliozzi agreed to sit down with the company to further discuss the terms of the agreement in the coming weeks. Once it is finalized, the agree- ment would be required to undergo a public hearing before it could be approved by the council. By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer 'Unlike a typical tax stabiliza- tion agreement that's for the benefit of the developer, this is a tax stabilization agreement that's for the benefit of the town.' STEPHEN BURSINI attorney representing Green Development City man sentenced to 40 years for pawn shop shooting WOONSOCKET – A city man was sentenced to 40 years in prison last week after he pled guilty to shooting a pawn shop owner in the head in 2015. Andrew McLean, 26, was sen- tenced to a 60-year sentence with 40 years to serve at the ACI after pleading guilty in Superior Court to several charges relating to a 2015 robbery. According to an announcement from the state Attorney General's Office, the state was prepared to prove that on Oct. 23, 2015, McLean and two accomplices robbed the Capital Gold pawn shop on Smith Street in Providence at gunpoint. During the robbery, McLean shot the shop owner in the head with a 9mm pistol, leaving him bleeding on the ground while they robbed the store. The owner survived his injuries, but McLean later faced charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and armed robbery, along with conspiracy, carrying a pistol without a license and discharging a firearm during a violent crime. The case was investigated by the Providence Police Department. According to the release, McLean will be eligible for parole after serving 20 years. THE WEEK THAT WAS Vendors wanted for Club Lafayette flea market WOONSOCKET – Club Lafayette, 289 Aylsworth Ave, will hold its 2nd annual indoor/outdoor flea market on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendor tables are $20. Anyone interested in selling items can call 401-762-9662 for more information. IN BRIEF Valley Breeze offices to close for Victory Day HOLIDAY DEADLINES The Valley Breeze office in Lincoln will be closed on Monday, August 12, 2019 in observance of Victory Day. The news, display and classified advertising deadline will move forward to Friday, August 9 at 3 p.m. Classified Line ads remain Tuesday, Agust 13 at Noon. GREAT VALUE QUALITY SERVICE 36 BLACKSTONE STREET WOONSOCKET 401-766-3270 WWW.TERRYAUTOLTD.COM Gil & Meika 2008 TOYOTA RAV 4 FWD, Loaded 80K miles ............................ $ 8,295 Now Offering On-Site Bank Financing Westlake Financial WE BUY CARS 2008 CHEVY SILVERADO 1500 PICKUP 4x4, loaded, 122K miles ................ $ 12,599

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