Albion school approves nearly $200K revenue deal with solar company

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 April 2022 at 4:21 pm

ALBION – The school district stands to receive nearly $200,000 from a Florida-based company installing a new solar project on Gaines-Waterport Road.

DG Gaines LLC of Juno, Fla. has agreed to an Educational Contribution Agreement with the school district where ACS will receive $95,000 before the project’s commercial operation date and then another $95,000 a year later. The company will also provide the district with $500 annually for 15 years through a payment in lieu of taxes for $7,500 total in the PILOT.

That brings the total revenue to the district at $187,500.

The district opted for the Educational Contribution Agreement to avoid the PILOT impact on calculating the tax cap. With the tax cap calculation, PILOTS received in the prior year and projected in the current year are added and subtracted from the calculation, which has an impact on the district’s ability to levy taxes in the first and last year of the agreement, school officials said.

In other action during Monday’s Board of Education meeting:

• Panek Farms will continue to work 63 acres of the school district’s land in a lease at $70 per acre annually. That adds up to $4,410 for the district.

The Board of Education approved the deal on Monday evening that extends the lease for five more years.

Margy Brown, a board of education member, said the Panek family has donated to FFA in addition to maintaining the farmland.

“I’m very appreciative of Panek Farms and their support of the kids at Albion Central School,” she said.

• Accepted a $7,379.60 donation from the Xerox Corporation to support a summer camp program at the school district. The funding was secured by Elissa Nesbitt, a former Board of Education member who works at Xerox.

• Approved a new $500 memorial scholarship in memory of Francis “Fritz” Neidert, a former Albion fire chief and long-time firefighter. His family created the scholarship to be awarded to a graduate who wants to be a firefighter and has been accepted to a college program for fire science technology.

• Agreed to change the name of the High School Multicultural Club to the Diversity Club. The group said changing the name should help bring more members to the club and make more people feel included. The club’s main goal is to bring people together.