After two years of stalled lease agreements, solar power is finally coming to the town of Van Buren. At its Aug. 1 meeting, the town board authorized Supervisor Claude Sykes to sign an agreement leasing town property on Kingdom Road to Forefront Power.
In May 2015, the board voted to lease the 18-acre property across from the former landfill to One Energy Renewables. The company transferred its interest to Sun Edison, which in turn transferred its interest to Forefront Power.
The initial term of the lease is 26 years. Forefront will pay the town $1,000 per acre, an annual cost of $18,000. Forefront requested renewable terms with a cap of 49 years. The previous agreement with One Energy Renewables and Sun Edison had no cap.
“I assume if they get to the end of the 49 years and the panels are working, they’re probably going to go to you about another extension,” Town Attorney Kevin Gilligan said.
“You don’t mean us,” Sykes said, gesturing to the current board members.
“Whoever the board may consist of at that time,” Gilligan said.
“I used my 49 [years] already,” said Councilor Howard Tupper.
The Forefront Power lease also entitles the company to have a tenant representative present if the town needs to enter the property.
Ashley M. Casey is a reporter for The Baldwinsville Messenger and The Eagle Star-Review. She graduated from Le Moyne College in 2012 and previously worked for the Scotsman Press.