City approves preliminary solar leases

February 22, 2018

By Pat Maurer

In a 3-0 vote, the Clare City Commission approved two separate preliminary lease agreements with BAP Power Corporation, DBA Cenergy Power Company, who are interested in leasing ten acres of City property in the South Industrial Park (DDA owned) and ten acres at the Clare Municipal Airport as possible sites for two ten-acre solar arrays.

The preliminary leases are for $100 each for a year while the California based company determine if the sites will be suitable and while they complete their “due diligence.”

At the end of the year they will negotiate leases for 21 years with an option for two consecutive additional five-year terms for between 1,000 and 1,500 per acre per year.

Based on the $1,000 per acre per year lease, the leases will add $620,000 to the City’s funds over the 31-year period, City Manager Ken Hibl said, plus personal property taxes on the facilities.

The solar arrays will connect to the Consumers Energy grid to provide Consumers with their required amount from an alternative energy source.

Only three members of the Clare City Commission met at their regular meeting Monday evening. Mayor Pat Humphrey and Mayor Pro-tem Jean McConnell were absent.

Commissioner Karla Swanson chaired the meeting.

Action at the meeting included an amendment to the Local Street Deficit Elimination Plan to the State and approval for the absence of McConnell.

During Public Comment two Lake Shamrock residents voiced their reasons for their opposition to the Lake Shamrock dredging project. Donna Miller said, “We are against the project for financial reasons,” adding that the whole City should share in the cost. Bobby Miller asked if the lake is a public lake and said, “I don’t feel we should carry the burden of dredging it.”

The Commission also held a Public Hearing and the first reading of an amendment to the System Standards for Water Systems testing. The matter will be voted on at the next City meeting.

In his report to the Commission Hibl noted that the Planning Commission has approved a site plan for a 2,500 square foot addition to Letherer Truss in the South Industrial Park. The addition will allow the company to add four or five new jobs, he said.

Hibl also said that the MSU design team will be presenting six to eight primary architectural element for the gateway (on the donated former Consumers property downtown). “The City’s working group will be asked to select one or two major elements that the design team will use to develop the final proposal.”

Hibl also said that the Depot project to complete the building is now within approximately $17,000 of the $50,000 fundraising goal. Completion of the project will allow occupancy of the building by the Chamber of Commerce and the Clare County Arts Council. “We are waiting determination of a grant application submitted to the Clare County Community Foundation. We expect a decision to be made next week.”

The Commission also approved bills totaling $49,822.55.

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