2005 December 23
by Marie Jones Holmes
Quoddy Bay LLC on Friday, December 16, announced it had filed its pre-application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington, D.C., for the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at Pleasant Point. A few days later Perry residents and taxpayers received a letter signed by 20 members of the Perry Improvement Association (PIA) outlining expected financial commitments to Perry from Quoddy Bay LLC.
In the PIA letter it is stated, "During the past few months, we have witnessed significant progress in the development of LNG facilities around us, two of them within a few hundred yards of our town lines. While we recognize the benefits of the development in terms of jobs and positive impacts on our local economy, we fear that the Town of Perry may be left in the middle of these projects with no direct benefits to our town finances."
PIA members subsequently met with Brian Smith of Quoddy Bay LLC, and Quoddy Bay LLC agreed to include the development of an LNG storage facility in the Town of Perry and also agreed to a funding package for the Town of Perry. The three tanks would be located between the Old Eastport Road and the Cannon Hill Road on an approximately 170-acre parcel, for which Quoddy Bay has a purchase option. Any change of use of the land would have to be approved by the Perry Planning Board.
According to Turner, the facility will add approximately $250 million worth of valuation to the town, which will have a significant impact on the tax base. According to the letter, it is believed the facility will be responsible for about 80 to 85% of Perry taxes.
The PIA letter states, "On top of paying approximately 80% of the town's tax bill, Quoddy Bay LLC will commit $1 million per year to Perry to fund the following projects on a yearly basis (with an inflation factor): Washington County Economic Development Fund $500,000 per year to be administered by the Town of Perry Selectmen or their designee(s); Town of Perry Economic Development and General Improvement Fund $300,000 per year to be administered by Town of Perry Selectmen or their designee(s); Town of Perry Children's Recreation Fund $100,000 per year to be administered by the Perry Parks and Recreation Committee (ballfields, skating rinks, tennis courts, playgrounds, nature trails, etc); Town of Perry General Recreation Fund $100,000 per year to be administered by the Perry Parks and Recreation Committee (bike trails, hiking trails, snowmobile trails, community recreation center, senior activities, etc.)."
Quoddy Bay LLC would also contribute $100,000 a year to a Quoddy Bay scholarship fund and would fund 24-hour coverage of fire and ambulance services, should such services be required by the federal permitting process. The company would pay for all required security measures and would offer an abutters buy-out program. It would also fund all costs associated with any improvements to the Old Eastport Road to accommodate increased truck traffic during construction.
In addition, Quoddy Bay LLC would reimburse the town for reasonable expenditures for a legal firm to overview the permit applications and would work with the selectmen to make quarterly payments in lieu of taxes during the construction period.
The developer would include an access stub from the lateral pipeline and to add to this stub when a delivery system is determined in the future. The company would also provide a hiring preference at the Perry storage facility to applicants from Perry.
The Perry Improvement Association has also discussed with Quoddy Bay LLC a playground project at the school, office space in the town, and an open house in January or February to update residents about the proposed storage facility. Quoddy Bay also agreed to meet with local lobster fishermen to resolve potential gear losses.
The letter is signed by 20 members of the association.