Council May Renegotiate French's Landfill Solar Deal
Bond approved on first reading, but more negotiations could take place
The township coucil this week voted 6-1 in favor of approving a $34 million bond measure to fund the construction of a solar array at the former French's Landfill site, but they may renegotiate some terms of the deal surrounding the project.
Councilman Jim Fozman cast the lone dissenting vote on the bond measure, which was passed on first reading. Before the bonds can be issued, a second vote must be taken after a public hearing.
Council President John Ducey said this week that the council may look to renegotiate some terms of a deal with the project's redeveloper, Standard Alternative, LLC, in the interim.
"Our focus is on trying to get the town as much money out of the deal as we can," Ducey said.
Under the deal that was negotiated under the previous council, the township would borrow the cost of constructing the solar array at the former Superfund site at a special reduced interest rate reserved for municipalities, but Standard Alternative would pay the money back – not taxpayers.
The company would pay Brick a $2.5 million upfront lease payment, then up to $85,000 per year for 15 years. During that time, the township would purchase energy from the the company at a significantly reduced rate, saving taxpayers what will amount the millions of dollars over the 15 year period, officials have said.
After 15 years, the township would take over the array.