FARMINGTON — County commissioners have chosen Greater Franklin Development Corp. of Farmington to administer a tax-increment financing agreement between Franklin County and TransCanada on the Kibby Wind Power Project.

A letter of understanding will be drawn up between the agency and commissioners. The Greater Franklin agency receives $60,000 from Franklin County’s budget each year to promote economic development in the county. It is anticipated that $30,000 of that will come out of the credit enhancement agreement in the future to lessen the burden on county taxpayers.

TransCanada is in the process of building a $320 million, 44-turbine wind energy project on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range in Kibby and Skinner townships in northern Franklin County. The company has also applied to the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission to expand the project by about 15 turbines on Sisk Mountain, adjacent to the Kibby mountains, in Chain of Ponds and Kibby Townships in Franklin County. LURC commissioners were expected to set a hearing on the latter proposal on Wednesday.

Franklin County commissioners approved a tax-increment financing agreement with the Canadian energy company last year. The county is slated to get $4 million in captured property tax money over the 20-year pact to invest in economic development, scenic byways, tourism, public safety and fire protection among other areas in the unorganized territory. Nearly $9 million is expected to go back to the company to invest in the commercial wind farm and more than $9 million will go to the state’s Unorganized Territory of Maine’ coffers for use in those areas.

Eaton Peabody Consulting Group LLC will be engaged by the Greater Franklin agency to prepare administrative documents pertaining to the tax-increment funds management.

The cost is not to exceed $7,500, with the exception of mileage, printing and collateral/education, material production and other reasonable costs.

Commissioners requested county Treasurer Karen Robinson look into where that money would come from since there are no funds coming in from the TIF yet to cover costs.

Eaton Peabody helped county commissioners develop the TIF agreement and provided services through the process of adoption.

Greater Franklin will also be developing guidelines for projects expected to be requested to be done with the funds coming in through the financing agreement. Each proposal will be evaluated by a committee that will include a few unorganized territory residents.

Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay said he visited the wind project site recently and was impressed with the work and the environmental impact was minimal.

Twenty-two of the towers were up but not fully operational at the time, he said. They are expected to be online this fall. The remaining turbines are expected to be installed and on line in 2010.

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