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Final Wind Turbine Vote Next Month



The Archbold Area School Board will make the final decision on whether to move forward with a proposed wind turbine, or drop the project.

David Deskins, district superintendent, presented the information to board members at their Monday, Aug. 16 meeting.

Deskins said the district has been awarded $625,000 in zero-interest school construction bonds, which, when combined with the $1,075,000 in grant funding committed to the school project, will cover the $1.7 million cost of the project.

The turbine will generate electrical power for the school district, meaning the district will use less electricity from Toledo Edison. The money the district saves on the TE bill can be used to repay the bonds.

Deskins said the board must make its decision by mid-to-late September so that the bonds can be sold to investors.

Investors will still receive revenue from the bonds, because the federal government is paying the interest.

School district officials will appear before the Archbold Planning Commission, Monday night, Aug. 23, to seek a conditional use permit to allow the school to build the turbine. Deskins said at that meeting, the site selected for the turbine will be discussed.

Bridge Funding

While the school district may have commitments for the entire cost, the bulk of the grant money won’t be paid to the district until the turbine is completed.

Therefore, the district needs a construction loan, or “bridge financing,” to build the project until the grant money is received.

Deskins told board members local banks were considering offering bridge fi- nancing for a little over one year at about a 1.9% interest rate. District officials estimated the interest rate for bridge financing would be 4% to 5%.

The same interest rate is being offered to the Pettisville School District, which is also considering a wind turbine and has a similar funding package, Deskins said.

“The local banks are stepping up and doing their part to support the project,” he said.

Study

Deskins said workers from The Renaissance Group, the Kirtland-based consulting firm assisting the school district with the turbine project, were in town last weekend, conducting noise and aesthetic impact studies on the turbine project.

As part of the study, Deskins said several historic buildings in the village had been identified. The buildings had not been officially identified as historic.

Deskins said the village could use the information generated by the wind turbine study to obtain designations for those buildings.

The cost of the study, which was required by the federal government, is being paid by the Ohio Department of Development.


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