The Burrillville Town Manager and Town Attorneys, including Special Counsel, are in the process of working to get the best financial deal they can for the entire community – in the event the Invenergy Power Plant is approved. Anticipating those negotiations, the Town Council instructed the Town Manager & our Attorneys not to accept a tax agreement without including strong protections for those property owners who are the nearest neighbors of the proposed plant.
The negotiations are focused on main areas:
- A tax agreement by which Invenergy would be required to commit to the Town for the long term
- A generic property value agreement for use by some of the abutters to protect property values proximate to the project
As the Town Council President first told residents in his August 2015 news release, “…the Town will aggressively negotiate a tax agreement to properly compensate the Town and taxpayers for hosting the facility.” Discussion began many months ago and while the negotiations aren’t secret, they are, as would be expected, being conducted in private. The Special Counsel has an expertise in the area and a reputation as a tough negotiator. The Attorneys and the Town Manager are continuing to make sure they bring to the table proposed agreement(s) that are beneficial for the Town and the project abutters. The Town Council is periodically updated on the status of negotiations.
Why negotiate now?
Because the Town isn’t the decision maker in the approval of the Power Plant, the Council must consider all of the potential outcomes.
Does this mean the Town is signing off on the Project?
Absolutely not! The Town Zoning and Planning Boards along with our experts are still formulating their advisory opinions on the project, which will be submitted to the ultimate decision maker the EFSB. What these negotiations do mean is if the EFSB approves the project we will make sure the Town is properly compensated and the abutters are treated fairly.
We have a responsibility to the entire community to make sure we get compensated.
If the town refuses to reach these agreements would it kill the project?
No! There are sound and logical reasons why placing a power plant on the tax rolls is not a good idea! We will elaborate at a later date if and when a tax agreement and abutters’ agreement document are finalized.