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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters and comments for February 16, 2011

Letters and comments for February 16, 2011

Letters and comments for February 16, 2011

Comparing projects

To the Editor:

Feb. 6, Observer. Headline: “New clinic tops list of urban funding recommendations.’’ Editorial: “Economic growth the only way out of public funding crunch’’ endorsing the Horizon Wind Energy project.

Two projects: Medical clinic, private money; other Horizon, tax dollars.

Clinic: No tax dollars, except those generated from property value increases resulting from previous Urban Renewal projects. Private capital used. Once completed/operational, staffed by high-pay personnel. A necessary service for the people.

Contrast with Horizon’s Antelope Wind Project. Proposed private funds/federal and state tax dollar grants, demands tax breaks before they will build.

Demand that the county sign a SIP agreement (Special Investment Program). The agreement that the county and Horizon sign provides for state tax dollars to be given to Horizon.

As SIP is written, establishes individual construction phases of $25 million. Horizon has sole say as to what property will be covered by the SIP terms and conditions.

Project shall first exist when the real market value is at least $25 million and project is on line.

Antelope Ridge may choose either to identify or not to identify property included in a subsequent phase of construction, as being in the SIP.

Ad Valorem Property Tax capped $25 million property value. No further proposed value to be taxed — period.

We who oppose the SIP know how to read contracts (SIP). If stated in the contract, that is what will be done. Conversely, if it is not stated in the contract, forget about it.

The SIP comes into existence if and when Horizon says it will, with $25 million valuation, not $600 million.

Editorial writer: “and half the residents (Union County) are dead set against it. ... many of the same people who won't give up a dime in new taxes for schools — are fighting against it tooth and nail.’’

Do the people who voted for the Imbler School bond levy but against Antelope Ridge project agree?

Stephen Donnell

La Grande

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