Pine Co. to Look at Power Plant Options

Thursday, March 4th, 2010 at 7:20 am

PowerPlantThe Chisago County Board voted in February to reject a development agreement that would have brought a 780 megawatt power plant to Lent Township, but now, the county just north says it is willing to take a look at the same project.

The Pine County board unanimously agreed during Tuesday’s board meeting to contact the developers who were trying to bring the plant to Chisago County about the possibility of building the plant in Pine County.

“I know it would employ some people.  There would be construction jobs and I heard there is the potential for some ongoing real estate-type tax relief dollars for all the people of Pine County,” said board Chair Doug Carlson.  “I am sure we can help the townships and find a location that would be amenable to the whole project.”

Carlson said the board will look into potential locations in the future.

The company looking to build the power plant in Chisago County, LS Power, estimated the project would have created hundreds of construction jobs over the two-year construction period and 25-high paid permanent positions.

Those against the plant were concerned with the plant being built in a residential area, using fuel oil as a back-up source, potential increase in noise levels, and the source of water.  The plant was expected to use roughly 3.5 million gallons of water per day.

Hear Chisago County Board member Mike Robinson talk about the board’s decision to reject the power plant here.

As part of the negotiations with Chisago County, LS Power offered to pay the township, county, and North Branch School district $600,000 annually in lieu of personal property taxes.

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