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Grants from Heritage Wind latest effort from company to help Barre

Posted 14 April 2020 at 9:12 am

Editor:

This letter is in response to Jim Hoffman’s letter published on April 13. I am writing in shock and disbelief that someone would oppose donations to community organizations during a time that is bringing so much uncertainty and tragedy to the world.

Hundreds of people are dying every day across our state while millions are out of work and don’t know how to pay their rent/mortgages or provide meals to their family. I am a supporter of Heritage Wind, but to be frank, I could care less where the money is coming from as long as the money is going to people in Orleans County that need it.

I am also perplexed as to why Jim is so concerned about Heritage Wind and the town of Barre. Barre residents, including members of the town board, have asked many times for SOS and other non-Barre residents to please stop involving themselves in this issue. I am once again asking the same thing.

There are a few other points from Jim’s letter that I would like to address.

Jim says that Apex “operates in secret with leases and easements and the associated gag orders and other multiple restrictions.” I don’t think anyone would want to sign a lease with a company that makes all the agreement details public.

I am a leaseholder for Heritage Wind that not only appreciates my privacy but also put a lot of time and review with attorneys into my decision to do business with Apex. If it was so restrictive as implied, I would not sign such an agreement in the first place.

Plenty of people sign lease agreements for cell towers or rent their land to other farmers. Do they need to make all of that information public as well? Two parties honoring confidentiality is not a gag order and the insinuation over the years from various groups that it is, is getting old. As far as I am concerned, the details only pertain to Apex and the landowner.

Jim also speaks against a PILOT agreement that would benefit the town of Barre. Is he suggesting that all other businesses in the area that rely on PILOTs should not get them? Jim’s town of Somerset reaped the benefits of a hefty PILOT from an industrial coal plant for many years. I don’t see why Heritage Wind should be treated any differently as other utility scale energy projects. It is Barre’s turn to receive a financial benefit.

I will not speak for Somerset and Yates since I am not a resident, but I will speak for the town of Barre as a long-time resident. Heritage Wind will bring millions of dollars to Barre and has already done plenty for our community over the last few years. I ask people from other towns to please not stand in our way.

Chris Loss

Barre