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Re-Do: Chisago Co. Board Approves Power Plant Agreement

Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 9:18 am

PowerPlant

The Chisago County board rejected a development agreement to build a 780 megawatt power plant in Sunrise Township in February.  A month to the day later, they took another look at the agreement, and this time it was approved.

The board voted 4-1 in favor of the development agreement with LS Power on Wednesday.

Chisago County administrator John Moosey says several changes were made to the original agreement that the board decided would ultimately benefit the county.

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LS Power estimates the project will create hundreds of construction jobs over the two-year construction period and 25-high paid permanent positions.  However, those against the plan are concerned with its location, which has been proposed in a residential area.

Moosey says the county board’s vote does not ensure the power plant will be built in Chisago County, but he adds that  it’s likely.

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At the February 17th board meeting, the board voted 3-2 to reject the agreement.  This time around, the agreement received the votes of Mike Robinson and Rick Greene, who previously voted against it.  Lora Walker’s vote remained unchanged.  She was the lone vote of opposition to the updated agreement.

Chisago County’s initial rejection peaked the interest of Pine County.  Pine’s board said it would consider discussing power plant options in the county if Chisago passed.

Moosey says he does not think Pine County’s interest influenced Chisago’s vote.

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The Public Utilities Commission is handling the next stage of the project.  The commission will look at the size, impact on the environment and need for the power plant, said Moosey.  He says this process is expected to take a year.

The Chisago County board will listen to public comment at their regular board meetings as the power plant project moves forward.

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