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Board OK’s solar PILOT agreement

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Board of Supervisors recently approved a resolution requiring a pilot agreement for Gloversville Community Solar, LLC in the town of Johnstown, which allows a $50,000 PILOT agreement to start.

The company plans to build and operate a solar energy system on property at Route 29A at the former Gloversville landfill. The firm wants to construct a five-megawatt solar farm.

Gloversville 5th Ward Supervisor Gregory Young said Gloversville taxpayers will not see a benefit from the project.

“I can’t support it,” Young said.

Gloversville 1st Ward Supervisor Marie Born added: “People are not happy with all these solar farms popping up all over.”

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead commented that only developers are “reaping savings” from these solar projects.

Young, Born and these county legislators opposed the resolution, which still passed: Broadalbin Supervisor Sheila Perry, Stratford Supervisor Heather VanDenburgh and Gloversville 6th Ward Supervisor Warren Greene, board chairman.

The resolution indicated that Gloversville Community Solar, LLC has proposed a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement, or PILOT, with the town of Johnstown and Fulton County in accordance with state Real Property Tax Law.

The board’s Finance Committee recommended the PILOT agreement on a pro-rated sharing of the annual total tax rate. The agreement will be between participating taxing jurisdictions based upon the amount of $10,000 per megawatt of capacity, with a 2 percent escalator per year for 15 years, matching the tax exemption period allowable under state law.

Year one — prorated for 2019 — will see a $41,538 estimated tax payment to Fulton County; and an $8,461 payment to the town of Johnstown.

In other business, the board approved these resolutions related to the Fulton County Board of Elections:

∫ The board awarded a $36,215 bid to Phoenix Graphics of Rochester for the Board of Elections for election supplies and printed materials.

∫ Supervisors approved a contract between the Board of Elections and Verizon Wireless for cellular service for e-poll books as the best method for new electronic sign-in for Fulton County voters.

∫ The county’s 2020 Capital Plan identified an Electronic Poll Book System Project for the Board of Elections office in the amount of $65,000 that includes purchase of certain software, services and equipment. Supervisors approved $31,800 for costs such as: software licenses, on-site training, e-poll book stands, touchpad cases, and ballot on demand printers and case.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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